Rep. John Kivela Pleads Guilty

John Kivela Arrested in November for Drunk Driving

John Kivela, the Democratic State Representative arrested in early November for drunk driving, has entered a guilty plea. In return the prosecutor’s officer was willing to do away with the more serious charge he was facing.

Court records show that Kivela was pulled over by a deputy with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, while he was driving just outside of Lansing. It was late in the evening of November 9th and, according to the arresting deputy, Kivela was swerving on the road at about 80 miles per hour.

After officers pulled him over, they discovered that he also had an open bottle of whiskey in the car with him. Reports from that night reveal that while Kivela was certain about where he was headed, he was very confused about how he had gotten there.

Kivela’s subsequent breathalyzer results revealed that he was over the state’s “super drunk” limit of 0.17. Although the actual BAC number wasn’t released to the press, police have said that it was about “three times the legal limit.” ┬áKivela was charged with super drunk driving, which in Michigan means doubled jail time, fines and community service hours.

Kivela finally pled guilty to a single count of operating while intoxicated, first offense. In return the prosecutors agreed to drop the super drunk charge. As a result, Kivela is looking at substantially lower jail times, if any, and much smaller fines.

Joshua Pugh, Kivela’s spokesman, had previously revealed in a formal statement from the lawmaker, that he has struggled with alcoholism for many years. He also shared that Kivela had recently entered a substance abuse program to address that issue. In his most recent statement, Pugh shared that Kivela’s “recovery program has been going very well.”

The Representative’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled to take place in the Clinton County Circuit Court on January 19th. As of yet, we have no idea what the Judge will consider an appropriate sentence, as the plea deal did not include any sentencing suggestions.

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