State Police trooper charged with drunken driving while in Indiana for cop’s funeral faces trial

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N.J. State Police Trooper Michael Kulik (Tippecanoe County Jail/)

A suspended New Jersey State Police trooper went on trial Thursday in Indiana, nearly three months after being arrested on drunken driving chargeswhile there to attend an officer’s funeral.

The jury trial for Michael Kulik, of Livingston, was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in Tippecanoe Superior Court in Lafayette, Indiana, according to court records.

Kulik was arrested October 18 in West Lafaytte after police saw him driving slowly and hugging the center line, forcing other vehicles to swerve to miss him.

Kulik was unable to attend Indiana State Police Trooper Peter Stephan’s funeral because he was in the local jail. Stephan died Oct. 11 in a single-vehicle crash while responding to a call.

Kulik is charged with one count apiece of operating while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to .15 or more, court records state.

Operating while intoxicated in a misdemeanor in Indiana. A conviction for a first offense carries a sentence of up to a year in jail , as much as a $5,000 fine and up to a 2-year license suspension.

Kulik was suspended without pay following his arrest, NJ Advance Media reported at the time.

He remains suspended without pay, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn, a New Jersey State Police spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Kulik’s attorney, Matthew Sandy couldn’t be reached Thursday afternoon. A secretary in the Lafayette, Indiana based lawyer’s office said he was still in court.

A public employee since 2016, Kulik’s annual salary in $67,985, according to pension records.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.