According to Bangor Daily News,snearly 50 police agencies throughout Maine were granted federal funding to strengthen enforcement efforts against drunk drivers and alcohol-related car accidents in Bangor and elsewhere during the holiday season.
More than 40 police departments, five sheriffs’ offices and the Maine State Police each received a share of the $200,000 that was distributed by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. This money is being used to pay for the overtime OUI patrols through the rest of December.
Our Bangor drunk driving car accident attorneys understand that the number of alcohol-related car accidents is expected to increase as we head into the holiday season.
But police officers in Maine aren’t the only ones making the effort to stop this problem. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has launched the fifth anniversary of its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. This campaign takes place every year right before the holiday season. Unfortunately, Christmas and New Year’s brings out drunk drivers on roadways across the state. This year, MADD released a report that ranks every state in a one- to five-star type of system that rates the staes’ efforts in combating drunk driving. The U. . as a whole only ranked three out of five stars.
“While we have made great strides over the last 30 years, drunk driving is still the deadliest epidemic on America’s roads, killing approximately 11,000 people every year,” added U. . Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Maine received four out of five stars in the new report. Our state was applauded for enacting an ignition interlock device law back in 2008, but scolded for penalizing only repeat offenders with the devices. The report suggests that Maine should consider requiring these devices for all offenders. MADD’s report also applauded our state for beefing up the penalties for those who have been busted for driving under the influence of alcohol with a child present in the vehicle.
Maine Drunk Driving Facts, according to the Bureau of Highway Safety:
-Drivers who were arrested for OUIs had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) average of 0.15, which is twice the legal limit in the state.
-More than a third of college students admit to having driven while intoxicated at least once within the last year.
-More than a half of the people who are arrested for OUIs are repeat offenders.
An OUI is expensive too, assuming you haven’t been in an accident. The average cost for an OUI in Maine is estimated to be about $7,000, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In the U. ., drunk-driving accidents ring up a total of more than $130 billion every year. Drivers are urged to be careful on our roadways through the holiday season and to never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. Have a safe and happy holiday!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Maine car accident involving a drunk driver, contact Peter Thompson & Associates for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-804-2004 to reach an attorney in our Portland or Bangor offices today.
More Blog Entries:
Holiday Travel a Danger to Maine Motorists Causing a High Risk of Severe Injury in Bangor Car Accidents, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2011
Technology Takes Aim at Drunk Driving Accidents in Maine, elsewhere, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, February 15, 2011