Clallam County commissioner Peach charged with DUI

Prosecutor tells of BAC upon arrest

Bill Peach.

Bill Peach.

FORKS — Clallam County Commissioner William Wallace Peach’s blood alcohol content was measured as 0.206 upon his arrest for investigation of driving while intoxicated, according to information presented at a court hearing on Thursday.

Peach, who is running for re-election in the Nov. 8 general election, was charged by Melissa Pliemann, Jefferson County deputy prosecuting attorney, with DUI-alcohol at the hearing in Clallam County District II court in Forks.

His driver’s license was temporarily suspended and he is required to have an interlock device installed on his car within seven days. Another court date tentatively is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Thursday’s was the first court appearance for Peach, 67, a Beaver resident who has served as a county commissioner since 2016.

He appeared before Judge Pro Tem Lorraine Rimson from Jefferson County. She was assigned to the case after Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols transferred the case due to a conflict of interest.

Peach chose not to hire an attorney. The judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Rimson also cautioned Peach about speaking in court without representation and that he should not speak to the facts of the case.

An ignition interlock device requires the driver to blow into it before the car will start. If it registers a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.04, the car’s lights begin flashing and the horn begins honking and the car won’t start.

BAC measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, expressed as milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. So a 0.08 BAC, the legal limit for driving, indicates 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

Peach’s BAC, as it was measured when he was booked at the Clallam County jail four hours after his 6:30 p.m. arrest, was 0.141. He paid $10,000 bond and was released from jail at 11:40 p.m., and another person picked him up.

Clallam County deputies pulled Peach over at the Park and Ride at the junction of state Highway 113 and U.S. Highway 101 after two calls reported an erratically driven vehicle.

Trooper Katherine Weatherwax, spokesperson for the State Patrol, said the sheriff’s deputies called the State Patrol for backup. Once the troopers arrived, the deputies let the State Patrol take over because U.S. Highway 101 is their jurisdiction and the deputies had a conflict of interest, she said.

Peach currently is running for re-election Nov. 8 as county commissioner against Port Angeles City Councilman Mike French.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached at kpark@peninsuladailynews.com.

Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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