Umatilla County Commissioner-elect Dan Dorran was arraigned on a drunk-driving charge Monday.

Dorran, 65, was arrested Sept. 26 for driving while under the influence of intoxicants in the city of Umatilla after a collision with another vehicle.

In Oregon the charge is a criminal misdemeanor, unless there have been three or more prior DUII convictions in the past 10 years. It is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $6,250, according to state law.

Dorran pleaded not guilty in Umatilla County Circuit Court.

A Republican, Dorran was elected to the nonpartisan Board of Commissioners, Position 3, on Nov. 3, winning by 45% of the vote. He is to be sworn in Jan. 2 to a four-year term.

In a public statement after his arrest was being investigated by the Union-Bulletin, Dorran said he should not have driven after drinking alcohol at a golf event and that he took full responsibility for his actions.

In Umatilla County a defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to a charge. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, no trial is set and the defendant can be sentenced immediately or at a later date.

If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

A not-guilty plea is a routine step in criminal matters and allows more time for both sides to continue investigating the case.

Dorran’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 29.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 509-526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers health, social services and city government in Milton-Freewater, Athena and Weston in the Walla Walla Valley.