Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard will spend five days in jail, with significant fines, after a circuit court judge in Nashua found him guilty of aggravated driving while intoxicated.
“I’m not excited about the outcome,” Hilliard said outside the courtroom, adding, “It’s important to remember, under the badge I wear proudly, there’s a human; but I have to pay the consequences for what I’ve done.”
Having previously ruled that Tilton police made an unlawful arrest when they took Hilliard into custody on Aug. 9, because they did not first seek an arrest warrant, Judge James H. Leary on Tuesday heard pleadings on whether he should take into account the blood tests administered after Hilliard’s arrest. Those tests found that Hilliard, 58, of Northfield, had a blood alcohol level of 0.216 that night.
Leary concluded that there was “no question” that Hilliard was highly intoxicated and that he had willingly given his consent to the breath test and the blood test. “He nodded his head and gave consent every time, and he signed the consent document, so I will allow in the blood test.”
With that evidence officially on the record, neither defense nor prosecution had anything further to argue, and the hearing went on to the sentencing.
While the judge dismissed the alternate counts of impaired driving, he found Hilliard guilty of aggravated driving while intoxicated and transportation of alcohol.
On the main charge, Leary imposed a $930 fine, a 12-month loss of license, 17 days in the Belknap County House of Corrections, with 12 days suspended, and he must have an alcohol interlock device on his vehicle for 24 months.
The judge issued a suspended $500 fine on the transportation of alcohol charge.