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Town council member charged with drunk driving

By Joe Beck

STRASBURG -- Town council member Richard Allen Orndorff Jr. is facing a drunk driving charge and two other offenses as a result of a traffic stop on the night of June 4 in Woodstock.

Orndorff, 49, blew a .10 in a breath test administered at the Shenandoah County Jail after his arrest, according to a criminal complaint filed by Woodstock officer Joshua Wilberger. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in Virginia is .08.

Orndorff was also charged with speeding at 40 mph in a 25 mph zone and driving a motor vehicle after license suspension or revocation.

Ordorff said in an interview Wednesday that the traffic stop came after he had consumed "a couple glasses of wine" following a town meeting. Orndorff said Wilberger asked him if he had been drinking.

"I told him I had had a couple glasses of wine," Orndorff said. "Unfortunately, I guess it was over the legal limit, according to what I was told."

The criminal complaint gives Wilberger's version of the arrest:

"I conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle operated by the accused. Upon making contact with the accused, I detected an odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his mouth as he spoke. I administered four field sobriety tests to which the accused showed impairment."

Orndorff said the charge of driving after suspension or revocation was the result of an "unpaid ticket, but it does show it was paid prior to that."

"I'll have to talk to the DMV about it," he added.

Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley said it was up the courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine the validity of Orndorff's claim about the driving under suspension charge.

"We just go off of what the DMV records indicate," Reiley said.

Reiley said Wilberger stopped Orndorff in the area of North Main Street and Mill Road around 9:30 p.m.

Orndorff is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. July 7 in Shenandoah County General District Court for a hearing on the charges.

Online court records show Orndorff has had earlier brushes with law enforcement. He pleaded guilty to assault and battery on a family member in May 2004 and guilty to the same charge about three months later, both times in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

Orndorff said he had no further comment on the current case.

He then added: "While it was a mistake, I never shy away from responsibility. I never have. I think it's unfortunate that this requires any reporting other than that for a normal individual."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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