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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington House Budget Chair Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving After DUI Arrest

Washington Legislature
Washington state Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, pleaded guilty to reckless driving after he rolling his jeep last February.

Democratic state Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane, the chief budget writer in the Washington House of Representatives, has pleaded guilty to reckless driving. Ormsby was facing a possible drunk driving conviction after he rolled his jeep in February.

Ormsby’s accident and arrest happened one evening as he was returning home from meeting a lobbyist at a bar near Olympia. At the time, Ormsby said he had “at least two beers” at the bar and had consumed two more beers earlier in the day.

Credit Thurston County Sheriff's Office
Thurston County Sheriff's Office
Washington state Rep. Timm Ormbsy's 2018 Jeep Cherokee went off the road, hit a culvert and flipped over on its roof in an incident last February.

He failed a field sobriety test and registered a 0.11 on a portable breath test. In Washington, 0.08 constitutes driving under the influence.

Since this was his first DUI arrest, Ormsby was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving. He paid a $1,100 fine and has been ordered to meet with victims of drunk driving.

In an interview, Ormsby said he "wanted to own responsibility for my mistake.” He also said he’s stopped drinking since the accident.

Ormbsy has filed to run for re-election this year.

His guilty plea was first reported by The Spokesman Review.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."