Government & Politics

‘I never moved my car’: KC councilman Quinton Lucas arrested on suspicion of DUI

Kansas City Councilman and mayor candidate Quinton Lucas said he decided to “behave responsibly” and not drive when he got into his car late Thursday night in Lawrence. Still, he ended up arrested on suspicion of DUI early Friday morning.

Lucas, 34, said he attended a trivia night fundraiser Thursday for Kansas Legal Services at the Jayhawk Club.

He said he had two beers before the event ended about 10 p.m., and that someone drove him in his car about 5 miles to Merchants Pub and Plate at 746 Massachusetts St., near where police later found Lucas parked. He said he had perhaps another half beer before getting in his car about 10:45 p.m.

That’s when Lucas, according to a Facebook post, realized he wasn’t sober enough to drive.

“When I got to my car I decided that I was not prepared to safely drive home to Kansas City,” Lucas wrote. “I decided to behave responsibly and wait in my car until it was safe to drive. Apparently, while waiting, I dozed off. I never moved or attempted to drive my car.”

Lawrence police said they responded around 11:30 p.m. Thursday to the area of 8th and Massachusetts after a report of someone unconscious in a parked vehicle.

When police arrived, an officer asked him to step out of the car. Lucas was eventually handcuffed — standard procedure — and taken to the Douglas County Jail.

Lucas said that his interactions with the police were without incident. He said the arresting officer “was a very nice man.”

“We shook hands at the end of the interaction,” Lucas said. “They did their job.”

Lucas was released on a personal recognizance bond and ordered to appear in Municipal Court on Nov. 7. He was driven back to Kansas City by a friend early Friday morning.

In his Facebook page statement, Lucas also wrote:

“The car was legally parked in a metered parking spot. I never moved my car, never shifted a gear, never released my parking break, and never attempted to move the car in any manner.

“After I had drinks last evening, I chose not to drive.

“Around 11:30 pm, a policeman approached my car and apparently found my behavior suspicious. Here is what I do know, I have the utmost respect for the men and women of the Lawrence Police Department and the policeman involved. He was courteous throughout, as was I. What I also know is that in making the critical decision not to drive last evening, I behaved responsibly.

“I look forward to resolving this issue and explaining the responsible choice I made not to drive under the influence.”

Lucas, who attended Thursday afternoon’s City Council session, teaches at the University of Kansas School of Law. One of six council incumbents (and nine candidates in total) running for mayor, Lucas said the incident does not change his political plans.

“I’m still running for mayor, but I do want to make clear that I certainly think driving under the influence is a serious charge, lest anyone think I’m saying this is unimportant. I don’t,” he said.

“I’ll let my lawyer talk about the law. I’m saying I didn’t drive under the influence.”

Related stories from Kansas City Star