State Watch

Kansas state Senate majority leader faces multiple charges for DUI incident

The Kansas state Senate majority leader is facing a driving under the influence charge and a felony charge of trying to escape the police after multiple people reported him driving down the wrong side of a highway. 

Gene Suellentrop (R) was reportedly driving an SUV down the wrong side of a highway in Topeka, Kan., on March 16.

The legislator on Friday was charged with a DUI, reckless driving, a felony charge of evading police, speeding and driving down the wrong side of a highway, ABC News reported.

The felony charge is punishable by a year’s probation or a few months in jail, a DUI is 100 service hours or two days in jail and a reckless driving charge is a $500 fine and a five- to 90-day jail sentence.

Suellentrop is currently in jail with a bond of $5,000.

“They about hit me, but I’m OK. I’m fine. They’re not near me, but they’re going the wrong way,” a person who called 911 to report the incident said. “I mean, they weren’t driving reckless — I’m not trying to say they’re driving reckless — but they were in the wrong lane, and it’s just, they met me coming up the on-ramp and scared the crap out of me.”

Mike Kagay, the Republican district attorney in Shawnee County, said police officers laid “stop sticks” on the road to deflate the vehicle’s tires, with one officer saying Suellentrop almost hit them.

Suellentrop was arrested on the night of the incident but the judge found there wasn’t enough in the arrest report to keep him in jail, according to ABC News.

“We are thankful that no one was injured,” Republican state Senate President Ty Masterson and Vice President Rick Wilborn said. “We continue to pray for Gene and his family.”

The Hill has reached out to Suellentrop’s office for comment.

Tags Driving under the influence DUI Kansas Kansas reckless driving

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