WICHITA — State Rep. Phil Hermanson pleaded no contest this afternoon to a charge of driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
Hermanson, R-Wichita, was charged with DUI after he was involved in a Nov. 6 accident at 47th Street South and Broadway.
His lawyer, Les Hulnick, said Hermanson had not eaten on the morning of the crash and was apparently under the influence of medication he was taking for high blood pressure.
"There was no alcohol, no illicit drugs," Hulnick said. "This isn't a guy who went to a bar and tied one on.
"He just happened to get caught on a day when he hadn't eaten enough and the medication had taken over. He's since seen his physician, and he's no longer on that medication."
Hulnick said Hermanson would be required to spend 48 hours in the Wichita Intervention Program, which is offered to first-time DUI offenders as an alternative to a mandatory 48-hour jail stay.
Under the program, offenders check into a motel late Friday and spend two days in a program that demonstrates the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Hermanson, 45, was not immediately available for comment after the hearing. Hulnick said he had advised Hermanson not to discuss the case with the media.
Although a sentencing date was not set, Hulnick said he expected it to occur in about six weeks after a pre-sentence evaluation is completed.