TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A DUI criminal defense attorney spoke out on charges relating to the arrest of Kansas Senate majority leader Gene Suellentrop.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Suellentrop was driving a white SUV and was driving in the wrong direction on the east-facing lanes of I-70.
The authorities arrested Suellentrop, among other things, for driving under the influence and fleeing the law enforcement authorities
Dustin Curry, a criminal defense attorney at Joseph, Hollander & Craft in Topeka, told the Kansas Capitol Bureau that drugs or alcohol are not always the cause, although the senator may have been found to be disabled.
“There are other reasons someone might do this other than being under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Curry said. “There may have been underlying illnesses, possibly a traffic stop that could have been confusing. He may just have made a mistake. “
Curry said Suellentrop was innocent until proven guilty and that further evidence would need to be disclosed before formal decisions were made.
Highway patrol officials said a blood sample was taken and officials are gathering evidence to show to prosecutors.
Curry said there are two ways to calculate for DUI cases in the state.
“One way is to assess whether the blood alcohol level is above 0.08. The second is to decide whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that he was unable to operate a vehicle, ”he said.
If a DUI charge is brought, the punishment can range from 48 hours in prison for first-time offenders, up to 6 months, or even a year, according to Curry. However, he said it was not uncommon for someone with no criminal history to enter into a diversion agreement.