LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas City Councilman and mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas was arrested Thursday in Lawrence, Kansas, on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence, according to jail records.
Lucas, 34, was booked into the Douglas County Jail. He was released on a $750 bond.
Lawrence police said that around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, officers got a call of an unconscious person in a vehicle on 8th and Massachusetts streets.
Lucas, who is a lecturer at the University of Kansas School of Law, said in a statement Friday that he was at an event and drank alcohol but that he did not drive his car. He said that he decided to wait in his car until it was safe for him to drive.
"I never moved my car, never shifted a gear, never released my parking break, and never attempted to move the car in any manner," Lucas said in his statement.
According to a Kansas City attorney, sitting inside a vehicle while intoxicated can be enough for police to charge a person with driving under the influence.
"If you have access to the keys, in the ignition or in your pocket or in the seat next to you, you are considered in control of the vehicle and you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol," attorney Howard Lotven said.
Lotven said that if Lucas was sitting in the driver's seat of the car, it becomes a harder case for the defense.
"As long as he had the keys in his pocket or in his possession and he was in the vehicle and it was capable of being driven, they really don’t have a defense," Lotven said.
KU and Kansas City officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Lucas's arrest.
Lucas announced in late June that he was joining a crowded field running for Kansas City mayor.
He was elected to the City Council’s Third District at-large seat in 2015.