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As reported in the Bangor Daily News on December 5, 2010, (full article text here) the coming session of Maine’s legislature is expected to take up discussion of Maine’s law against operating under the influence.

Recently in Michigan what is known as a “superdrunk” law took effect. The law increases the penalties for first-time offenders driving while more than twice the legal limit (currently 0.08 in Maine), or at a blood alcohol content of 0.17 or more. According to the report,

“[i]n 2009 there were 8,203 OUI arrests in Maine, according to the secretary of state’s office. That is nearly one arrest an hour every day all year. There were 1,496 arrests with drivers with over 0.19 percent blood alcohol content and 452 with over 0.25 percent blood alcohol content”.

Reported in the Portland Press Herald, November 16, 2010

PORTLAND — The man killed in a motorcycle crash this morning has been identified as Douglas Starbird, 52, of Oxford.

Starbird was driving on Skyway Drive toward Outer Congress Street, headed in the same direction as an Atlas Van Lines moving truck, when he collided with the side of the truck, then hit the pavement.

Reported in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesday November 9, 2010

The 21-year-old driver of a pickup and his two teenage passengers are dead followng a crash in the midcoast town of Hope Monday night.

State Police say Daniel Dodge II, of Hope, died as did his passengers Misti Leach, 14 of South Thomaston and Katie Kelly, 17 of Rockland.

Reported in the Bangor Daily News, November 1, 2010

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A 24-year-old man who was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday was listed in critical condition at a Bangor hospital on Monday.

Robert Tardiff of Frenchville was flown by LifeFlight to Eastern Maine Medical Center after the accident, which occurred about 2:10 p.m. Sunday on Paradis Lane in Frenchville, Sgt. Forrest Dudley of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

On September 21, 2010, the U. . Department of Transportation hosted the second National Distracted Driving Summit. The purpose of the summit was to discuss challenges and opportunities facing national anti-distracted driving regulation efforts.

In recent years, a movement has been gaining momentum to address the problems that distraction behind the wheel can cause. Much of the media has been focused particularly on cell phone use and texting, however, other examples include eating, being overtired, or putting on makeup while driving. Even Oprah Winfrey has joined the effort. Oprah’s No Phone Zone

According to the government website that has been established for this campaign, in 2008, almost 20% of all crashes were caused by distracted driving. Talking on a phone, whether holding it in your hand or using a hands free device, is the equivalent of driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. In other words, the same as driving drunk. www.distraction.gov.

Reported in the Bangor Daily News October 5, 2010

The setting sun was cited as a factor in a rear-end crash Tuesday that brought westbound traffic on Interstate 395 to a near halt during the busy evening commute.

The accident happened about 6 p.m., soon after a vehicle that was not involved started to take the Route 202 exit but veered back onto the highway after coming to a near stop, Sgt. William Sheehan of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday night. That, he said, caused drivers behind it to slow down to a near stop as well.

Reported by Kennebec Journal on September 6, 2010

CARTHAGE — A 36-year-old Wales man died and four others were taken to the hospital Monday after two pickup trucks crashed on Route 142. Tolga Ozkur ran through a stop sign and crashed his 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck into a 1996 Chevrolet pickup truck at 10:06 a.m. Ozkur died at the scene, according to Franklin County Deputy David Rackliffe.

The driver of the other pickup truck was Troy McCormick of Wilton. He, his infant daughter and passenger Ashlee Cote were all taken by ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Reported by WABI-TV5 News Desk

June 23rd 2010

Police have determined who was driving the vehicle that was involved in a fatal accident in Enfield last week. The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department says a car driven by 38-year old Leanna Lancaster went off Route 2 last Tuesday night. Lancaster’s passengers, 24-year old Kourtney Grindle Murray and 18-year old Christina Pegg, both of Greenbush, were pronounced dead at the scene. A police officer driving by discovered the crash just before 9:30. Sgt. Scott Young says it appears the car was heading south when it strayed into the northbound lane and crashed into a tree. Lancaster, also of Greenbush, was airlifted to Eastern Maine Medical Center. Police are still investigatiing the cause of the accident.

Reported by Bangor Daily News Staff

WARREN, Maine — Three people were injured, one critically, after a two-car accident Tuesday, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 4:30 p.m. Howard Taggart, 58, was driving his 2000 Chevy Blazer north on Route 1 in Warren near Loons Cry Campground, when he drifted into oncoming traffic. A black 2000 Mazda MPV operated by Jess Brann, 34, was hit head on. Passengers in the Blazer were sisters Allyson Taggert, 34, and Holly Anderson, 31, according to the Sheriff’s Office. No hometowns were given for any of the victims.

Three Belfast Area High School students were injured and taken to the hospital Friday night after their car struck a tree.

The crash occurred at around 8:15 p.m. on Back Searsport Road when the 2002 Daewoo in which the three male students were riding left the road for unknown reasons and hit the tree, Sgt. Walter Corey with the Belfast Police Department said Saturday.

The names of the three victims were not released because they are all under age 18.

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