August 27 — DERRY — A Derry state spokeswoman is encouraging others to learn from what she calls a mistake. an arrest earlier this year on a DUI charge in Derry.
State Erica Layon was arrested on May 26 at approximately 9:09 p.m. and taken into custody after her Toyota was seen “weaving,” according to a police report.
Layon has since pleaded guilty to those charges, losing her license for nine months as part of her sentence. He has the right to apply for an earlier reinstatement.
A police dashboard video of Layon’s arrest is now circulating online, showing the Derry lawmaker being questioned at length by Derry police in the driveway of her Tsienneto Street home.
“Although I did not believe I had a disability at the time of the incident, it became apparent to me when I saw the video that I was not myself,” Layon said in a statement to the Derry News. “I believe in taking personal responsibility for all my actions and I am embarrassed and deeply regret what happened.”
Lyons, 42, was elected as one of Derry’s 10 Republican representatives in November 2020 and is currently running in the Sept. 13 primary.
She currently serves as vice chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee and is also a member of the House Education Committee, according to her website.
In the police video, Layon can be seen talking at length to first responders about a long list of topics, as officers repeatedly tell her they felt she was slurring her words.
“I see slurred speech,” said one officer.
She continues to talk about possible elevated blood sugar levels, but fire officials tested her and said those numbers were within normal limits.
Layon reported having two glasses of wine, but later recanted, admitting he had three glasses.
He told officers he was having a bad day. the New Hampshire House had rejected HB 1431, a “parental rights” bill championed by Layon.
Lyons also quoted former Derry city councilor Jim Morgan as she was handcuffed and led away by police.
“How much did Jim Morgan pay you?” Layon asked.
Morgan is consulting legal counsel.
“It’s unfortunate that as a legislator he would charge me with a crime,” Morgan said. “I’m in discussions with my defamation lawyer and I’m hoping for a positive outcome.”
With the primary just weeks away, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is also speaking out about Layon, citing the police video and some of the comments she made.
“Almost immediately upon being questioned by police in Derry, Rep. Erica Lyons attempted to use her political connections to prevent police from proceeding with her arrest,” Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said in a statement. “Her instinct to try to use her political connections to protect herself says a lot about how she views her role as a public servant.”
Buckley continued in the statement that it is up to the people of Derry to prove that “the good judgment Rep. Layon has failed to show and elect new leaders who will better represent them.”
Layon said she takes personal responsibility for her actions and hopes the situation will not overshadow her past achievements.
“In the future, instead of thinking I’ll recognize when I’m impaired, I’ll just have nothing to drink when I know I’m going to drive,” he said. “I encourage others to learn from my mistake and take the same conservative approach.”