Derry Rep Layon Pleads Guilty in DUI Case
Republican state Rep. Erica Layon said this week she regrets driving under the influence, for which she was arrested at her home in Derry on May 26.
“I truly regret this lapse in judgment. I am following the court’s orders,” Layon said Tuesday.
Layon pleaded guilty last month to one count of driving under the influence and had her driver’s license revoked for the next nine months as part of the sentence. She is eligible to apply for early reinstatement under the plea for the first-time offense.
Layon was arrested at her home on the night of May 26 after police responded to reports of an erratic driver. The conversation with Derry police was captured on cruiser video which has since been uploaded to the Internet. In the video, Layon is seen still wearing her state representative’s name badge.
Layon appears to slur her words during the conversation with officers, and initially said she had one glass of wine at the end of the workday in Concord. She also mentioned early on that she had purchased a table to the banquet honoring Derry Police Chief Ed Garone.
Layon initially tried to tell officers that she has a borderline case of diabetes and was suffering from the effects of high blood sugar after attending an ice cream social at the State House. She also acknowledged having one glass of wine after the House session had ended for the day.
The Derry Fire Department soon sent an ambulance to check Layon’s blood glucose levels, which were at 120 mg. According to the video, the paramedic who took the reading told Layon that was a good level.
“You’re golden,” he said.
During the video, Layon explained to the officer the pressure she had been under that day. The Legislature voted down the proposed parental bill of rights she championed on May 26, and Layon appeared dejected by the defeat.
“It’s been a hell of a day. We got our asses kicked by people who think the state should be the parents, and not the parents,” Layon said.
Layon told the officer she had been receiving threats over the parental bill of rights. When the officer asked what the threat stated, she said it was “rainbow laser pew pew.”
After her blood sugar was deemed normal by paramedics, Layon was questioned about her slurred speech. At this point, she told the officer she had three glasses of wine that evening. When she refused the officer’s request to undergo field sobriety tests, she was placed under arrest.
When she was initially questioned, Layon suggested to police that the report about her driving her car erratically had been made by a neighbor with whom she had a feud over a tree. When she was told she was being placed under arrest, she revived her suspicions about the arrest.
“How much did Jim Morgan pay you guys?” Layon asked.
“I do not know who Jim Morgan is,” the officer responded.
As Layon was being handcuffed, she again mentioned Chief Garone and his upcoming banquet.
“Can I get my money back for Chief Garone’s table?” she asked.
Aside from the controversial parent’s bill of rights, which opponents claimed would out gay teens to their parents, Layon was a lightning rod for controversy last session. She sponsored a bill to revive a Cold War era anti-Communist loyalty oath for teachers which would ban them from advocating for socialism or communism in the classroom.
The bill would also ban teaching anything negative about the founding of the United States.
“No teacher shall advocate any doctrine or theory promoting a negative account or representation of the founding and history of the United States of America in New Hampshire public schools which does not include the worldwide context of now outdated and discouraged practices. Such prohibition includes but is not limited to teaching that the United States was founded on racism,” the now-defeated bill stated.
When asked by WMUR, Layon refused to say that the Three-Fifths Compromise was racist. The Three-Fifths Compromise from the 1787 Constitutional Convention states that every enslaved American would count as three-fifths of a person for taxation and representation purposes.