Deerfield state rep to pay fines related to Pembroke traffic stop

  • Deerfield Rep. James Spillane appears in Hooksett’s district court Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Spillane, who represents Candia, Deerfield and Nottingham in the State House, was arrested May 4, 2017. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Deerfield state representative found not guilty of drunken driving in Pembroke in May was fined $310 for open container and lane violations.

Rep. James Spillane was sentenced on the violation-level offenses Tuesday morning in Hooksett’s district court.

Spillane was arrested May 4 just after 11 p.m. on Buck Street after someone called 911 to report a driver that appeared drunk, swerving in and out of the lane.

A Pembroke police officer who arrested Spillane testified during a bench trial in January that the lawmaker had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol during a traffic stop in which he failed several field sobriety tests. The officer also said Spillane let a gun fall out of his boots and smoked a cigar during the stop, and that the lawmaker admitted a flask the officer found contained whiskey.

Defense attorney Mark Stevens was successful in arguing for one of the field sobriety tests to be thrown out. He also maintained that prosecutors failed to prove their case against Spillane, including that the man on trial was the same one who’d been convicted in 2010 on similar charges. The presiding judge agreed.

Spillane, a Republican, represents Nottingham, Candia and Deerfield, and he sits on the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee.