Kansas Senate Majority Leader’s blood-alcohol level more than twice legal limit, new documents say

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TOPEKA, Kan. — New details have been released on Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop’s arrest, detailing a harrowing chase, alleged disrespect toward police and a high blood alcohol content.

A Shawnee County judge ordered the release of documents, which include the first-hand account of police during Suellentrop’s arrest.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper stopped Suellentrop around 1 a.m. March 16 after observing him speeding and driving the wrong way on I-470 in Topeka. The trooper also said Suellentrop almost hit his marked patrol car.

According to the newly released probable cause report, the trooper chased Suellentrop for miles, reaching speeds of 90 mph. The officer also tried two tactical moves to stop Suellentrop’s SUV. The second move stopped the car.

The trooper said Suellentrop looked “confused” and “frightened” and did not respond to any of the trooper’s commands, including his request to turn off the SUV. Once he was out of the vehicle, Suellentrop was placed in handcuffs.

The officer said he could smell alcohol coming from Suellentrop as he sat near him. He also observed that Suellentrop’s eyes were watery and blood shot. His speech was slurred, and the trooper said he couldn’t understand what he said.

A standard field sobriety test was not conducted because Suellentrop was stopped on I-70 and the trooper said there was concern for his safety. When they returned to Highway Patrol Troop K Headquarters, Suellentrop refused to take the breathalyzer.

“I don’t feel the need to do so,” the trooper reported him saying. Suellentrop also allegedly referred to him as “Donut boy.” He said this was “all for going the wrong way.”

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After obtaining a search warrant, the trooper took Suellentrop to the hospital around 3:30 a.m. to retrieve a blood sample. According to court documents, Suellentrop threatened the trooper, saying he could “take” him because he played state sports competitively in high school.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation tested the sample and determined Suellentrop’s blood alcohol level was 0.17. The legal limit is 0.08.

Suellentrop faces charges of eluding or attempting to elude police (felony), driving under the influence (misdemeanor), reckless driving (misdemeanor), driving the wrong way on a divided highway (infraction), and speeding (infraction).

Sullentrop has been in the state Senate since 2017, serving on the House previously. He was a member of the House for seven years beforehand.

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