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Former Utah state senator charged with DUI

Former Utah state senator charged with DUI

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former state senator who resigned after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence was charged Tuesday with two misdemeanors.

Salt Lake County prosecutors charged Sheldon L. Killpack, 41, with one class B count of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and one class C count of failure to signal. If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail and up to three months in jail, respectively.

Court papers filed to support the charges said a test found Killpack had a blood alcohol level of .11, above the legal limit of .08. Police obtained a warrant for the blood test after Killpack performed poorly in field sobriety tests and refused a breathalyzer test, court papers stated.

"We're not surprised that charges have been filed in this case," Killpack's attorney, Edward K. Brass, said Tuesday. "We look forward to having this case resolved and to Mr. Killpack being able to move on with his life as soon as that's possible."

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled Killpack over on Jan. 15. The Syracuse resident resigned as the Republican Senate majority leader the next day.

Killpack's father was killed by a drunken driver when Killpack was a teenager. During his six years in office, Killpack had supported and sponsored drunken-driving measures.

In a statement, Killpack apologized for his actions and said he had decided to resign after discussing his options with family and friends.

"My heart weighs heavy. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the legislative process, my legislative colleagues and for my constituents," Killpack said in the statement. "At this time, the Legislature would be a distraction from what is most important and, frankly, I find that I have become a distraction to the Legislature."

Killpack was appointed to the state Senate in 2003, won election in 2004 and then earned a second four-year term in 2008. He was elected to the No. 2 position in Senate GOP leadership last year and was viewed as a rising star in Utah politics.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Jennifer Dobner Writer


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