Richland Mayor Bob Thompson was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of driving drunk near the Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick.

Thompson praised the professionalism of the arresting officer and those involved in the booking process at the jail.

Thompson spoke to the Tri-City Herald and said he was pulled over for speeding by the Washington State Patrol in the roundabout at Gage and Center Parkway just west of the mall.

Thompson said he felt he was OK to drive, despite consuming three alcoholic drinks. He explained his unusually-high blood-alcohol readings as due to dehydration from sedation received during a recent medical procedure.

He says an independent blood draw he requested from Kadlec confirmed his dehydration hypothesis.

He spent eight hours in the Benton County jail before being released.

Judge Dan Kathren allowed Thompson to continue life out of custody without posting bail.

Thompson is due back in court August 7.

Thompson has served on the Richland City Council since 1994. He is running for re-election to his Position 1 council seat against three challengers. The top two finishers in the August primary advance to the general election in November.

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