State Rep. Arrested For Super Drunk Driving, Commits Suicide

Sadly, State Rep. Kivela took his own life after a second DUI arrest near Lansing recently.

Sadly, State Rep. Kivela took his own life after a second DUI arrest near Lansing recently.


If you’ve been following our drunk driving blog for a while, then you may remember our article about State Representative John Kivela’s DUI arrest in November of 2015. He pled guilty in January of 2016, publicly admitting that he struggled with alcohol problems and would be entering rehab to address his alcoholism. That optimistic approach has, sadly, ended in tragedy.


After another, recent drunk driving arrest, Representative Kivela took his own life. His body was found inside his East Lansing home, Michigan. As of now investigators are saying that he took his own life within hours of being released from jail. There is no sign of foul play, and the investigation is being treated as a suicide by hanging.


According to police records, both arrests took place in Clinton County, and in both cases Kivela was listed as being ‘super drunk.’ In the most recent situation, Kivela was allegedly pulled over on Monday night on US 127. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department had received several 911 calls about a car that was driving erratically. An officer was dispatched, and after locating the vehicle, the driver was pulled over.


The arresting officer put Kivela through a series of roadside field sobriety tests, which he failed. He was arrested and transported to the jail, where he slept it off and was released in the morning. Although police have not released Kivela’s specific BAC number from prior to his arrest, Sheriff Lawrence Jerue told the Detroit Free Press that they were high enough to potentially justify a “super drunk charge.” Hours later, he was discovered in his house, deceased. Kivela was from Marquette, Michigan.


House Minority Leader Sam Singh released a statement addressing Kivela’s death, in which he said that he was saddened to hear the news. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sandy, and his two children. He was a champion for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a strong advocate for working people throughout Michigan.” Singh also wrote that Kivela had been his friend, and said that he would miss him. “We will always remember the impact that he made on this institution and the state of Michigan.”


Tom Leonard, currently Speaker of the House, echoed these sentiments, asking lawmakers to keep Kivela’s family in mind during this difficult period.”This is probably the toughest day that we’ll experience this term. I truly have no words about the loss of our dear friend John Kivela.” State Rep Andy Schor summed up the sentiment perfectly when he said that Kiva “was going through stuff and… we thought he was doing OK. You never know what the person next to you, what’s going on in their life. We just have to start talking to each other more.”


Being arrested for drunk driving can be very disheartening. We understand that people facing DUI charges deal with a great deal of regret, frustration, and even shame. It can be a very hard time to be sure, and there is much uncertainty about the future. However, one of the ways that you can ensure the best outcome in your case is to hire an experienced drunk driving attorney.


The Kronzek Firm has helped hundreds of Michiganders over the decades with drunk driving, OWI, DUI and impaired driving cases. We can be reached at at 866 766 5245. We are here to help you through very this difficult time in your life.

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