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Deerfield state Rep. Jim Spillane arrested in Pembroke, again charged with DWI 

  • James Spillane was arrested May 4, 2017, in Pembroke and charged with DWI. —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 5/16/2017 1:05:22 PM

A Deerfield state representative convicted of drunken driving in 2010 is facing new charges in Pembroke.

James Spillane, a third-term Republican legislator, was arrested May 4 and charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated. He also faces open container and yellow line violations.

Pembroke police Chief Dwayne Gilman confirmed that police received a report of a car swerving over the yellow line several times in the town. He said police responded to the area and conducted a motor vehicle stop on Academy Road about 11 p.m.

Gilman declined to discuss the details of the case against Spillane, citing an ongoing investigation.

Spillane, 48, was released on $2,000 personal recognizance following his arrest May 4, a House session day. In his mug shot, he is seen wearing his House name badge.

Spillane could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He is scheduled to face a judge Friday morning in Hooksett’s district court.

New Hampshire Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, reacted to news of Spillane’s arrest in an email statement Tuesday afternoon: “While the news of Rep. Spillane’s arrest is concerning to me, we need to let due process take its course. Members of the legislature are held to a higher set of standards and when something like this happens, unfortunately it reflects poorly on us all.”

This is not Spillane’s first run-in with the law. In late 2010, he pleaded guilty to reduced counts of misdemeanor reckless conduct and DWI. His license was suspended for five months, and he was fined $500. He also received a suspended one-year jail sentence.

Deerfield police initially accused Spillane of putting his wife’s life in danger while the two were driving home from dinner on March 12, 2010, according to published reports. Spillane was accused of yanking the steering wheel while she was driving, causing the vehicle to crash on Swamp Road, not far from the couple’s home.

Spillane serves on the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee. He is also one of three co-chairs of the House Republican Alliance, a group of conservatives that has challenged Jasper on the budget and other issues.

Spillane sponsored a bill this year to repeal the license needed to carry a concealed gun and regularly advocates for states’ rights.

Last year, he opposed a bill to keep child abuse reports on file for longer periods of time, recounting on the House floor a personal story about his experience with the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

Spillane said he came under investigation after someone made an anonymous, politically motivated child abuse complaint against him.

“This affects people, this affects family; this is not just about the children,” Spillane said at the time. “I have been through it, I am still going through it.”

(Staff writer Allie Morris contributed to this report. Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)

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