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Michigan lawmaker pleads guilty to drunken driving

Dec 18, 2015

ST. JOHNS, Mich. (AP) - A northern Michigan lawmaker has pleaded guilty to drunken driving stemming from an incident in which authorities say he was speeding, swerving and driving with an open bottle of whiskey.

State Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette) appeared before the House Tax Policy Committee on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, as the committee discussed the issue of dark stores and their impact on local government budgets.
Credit John Kivela's office website

Democratic Rep. John Kivela made the plea to a first-offense charge Friday in a Clinton County court. Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of operating while intoxicated with a high-blood-alcohol content.

  Police say the Marquette lawmaker's blood-alcohol level was about three times the legal limit after a sheriff's deputy stopped him Nov. 9 near Lansing.

  Kivela's spokesman Joshua Pugh said in a statement that Kivela's "recovery program has been going very well." He apologized in an earlier statement and said he was seeking treatment for alcoholism.

  Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 19.