Benton County District Judge Terry Tanner was arrested Monday night on suspicion of driving while drunk after he high centered his car on a concrete block at 2607 Kingsgate Way, according to a Richland police report.
First responders arrived at the crash around 6:30 p.m. A witness told police that he had seen a man later identified as Tanner in the driver seat while the wheels were still spinning and helped him get out of the car.
However, according to the police report, Tanner told the responding officer that the vehicle was not his and he was not driving, and he did not know who owned the car.
According to the report, medics said “they could smell the odor of intoxicants emitting from the male,” who had identified himself to them as Terry M. Tanner.
Tanner refused to take a sobriety or breathalyzer test, according to the report.
The officer arrested Tanner and took him to the Benton County jail. Tanner provided a breath sample there that measured .220 blood alcohol content at 7:36 p.m.
A second test at 7:41 pm measured .232.
The legal limit in Washington is .08.
Tanner, who ran unopposed in 2022, was also arrested for a DUI in March 2018 and pleaded guilty in April of that year. A second conviction carries a minimum sentence of 45 days in jail and 90 days of electronic home monitoring, and a license suspension of 900 days.
Tanner’s attorney Brian Roach has not responded to a call asking for a comment.
Correction: The second breath sample measured .232 not .225 as originally reported.