SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Authorities say a city council candidate was driving under the influence when he crashed his car in Washington state last month.

The Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday that Al Merkel has pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge.

Merkel is running for a seat on the Spokane Valley City Council.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says Merkel crashed into boulders on a lawn on May 4.

Authorities say Merkel smelled of alcohol, seemed confused and had slurred speech when they responded to the crash.

According to police documents, his blood alcohol level was about 0.12%, above the state’s 0.08% limit.

Merkel declined to comment on the case.

His attorney, Steven Clark, says the case is pending but noted his client “has a presumption of innocence just like everybody else.”

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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