Senator convicted in wrong-way driving DUI case to resign

Kansas Senate Majority Leader, Gene Suellentrop (R). (October 25, 2021)
Kansas Senate Majority Leader, Gene Suellentrop (R). (October 25, 2021)(WIBW)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 2:07 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A state senator who was convicted of being drunk while driving the wrong way on I-70 will resign.

A spokesperson for Senate Republican leadership confirmed to 13 NEWS that Sen. Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, will step down in January.

Shawnee Co. District Court documents show Suellentrop also was released early from his probation in the case.

Suellentrop was Senate Majority leader when he was arrested. Court documents stated he was caught in the early morning hours of March 16, 2021, driving 90 miles per hour on I-70, going the wrong way, and barely missing several vehicles.

Suellentrop was arrested for driving under the influence, speeding, improper crossover on a divided highway, and attempting to run from the police. According to an affidavit, Suellentrop’s blood alcohol content was point-one-seven, more than twice the legal limit.

At the time, Senate Republicans removed Suellentrop from his leadership position, but allowed him to remain in the legislature.

In October 2021, Suellentrop entered “no contest” pleas to charges of drunk driving and reckless driving. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of fleeing law enforcement. A felony conviction would have ended his time in public office.

The judge suspended a six-month prison term, and instead ordered Suellentrop to serve two days in jail and spend one year on supervised probation. Court records show that on July 11, 2022, the judge signed an order granting Suellentrop early release from supervision.