I would hire a lawyer, but this is not the Kennedy assassination and there are many members in high societal positions who have done far worse.
My standard disclaimer: I am not offering legal advice, assume I do not know the law in your state and that I am just making suggestions for starting points for when you do speak with an attorney. Do NOT rely on anything I write and contact a lawyer in your area immediately after reading my posting.
If you pay it, then it is a final conviction and remains on your record. While it may not be a "big deal" in that it is not a felony or crime of moral turpitude, it could affect the way that police deal with you in the future. Imagine that you have been to a bar, had 1 beer over the course of an hour, and drive away but you are speeding and get pulled over. The cop will pull up your record and certainly inspect far more closely whether he thinks that you are driving while intoxicated. In fact, every time a cop runs your record he will find this case.
In addition, it could affect you in the future. If you were to get a DWI (gosh forbid) in the near future, it would be used by the State to infer that you have a drinking problem. You may be punished more harshly or required to participate in more programs.
You should hire a lawyer who does primarily traffic court cases. Those lawyers know a lot more about the municipal or justice of the peace court systems in general. I believe that it is worth some money to make your best effort to get the case dismissed, and I believe that you need to hire a local lawyer to do that (which will help keep costs down.