KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time since his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, Councilman Quinton Lucas spoke exclusively to 41 Action News.
“I recognize that I think I made the right choice not trying to come back to Kansas City and making sure that I wasn’t a risk to anyone else,” Lucas said.
Lucas attended a University of Kansas event and a gathering afterward in Lawrence on Oct. 18. He said when he got to his car around 10:45 p.m., he realized he couldn't safely drive home. He decided to sit in his car.
We asked why Lucas didn't just go to a hotel instead.
"Certainly we could go back over it. I was thinking between the idea of, are we trying to get back to Kansas City? Which, I think, would have been irresponsible versus actually, just in essence, take a break, sit down, right, spend some time... In essence, try to cool down and make sure you're not a greater threat," Lucas said.
Lawrence police officers later found him asleep and placed him under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.
A recording of a police radio call shows an officer saying a man was found unconscious in a running vehicle. Lucas declined to answer whether the car was running, citing legal reasons.
He did, however, stress he has no animosity towards the officers who arrested him.
"I respect the work the police department did, and I'm not going to second guess any steps that they made," Lucas said.
The councilman maintains he did not break the law and believes the charge could be dismissed within the next few weeks or even days.
"Regardless of legalities, I think it was a reasonable choice," Lucas said. "And I would encourage somebody if they're thinking about driving a long distance versus—heck—sitting anywhere, including in their vehicle, I would say don't drink and drive, and that's the most important choice."
In Kansas, driving under the influence includes operating or attempting to operate a vehicle. Lucas said he never moved his car and believes recent supreme court and appeals decisions will clear him in this case.