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Enforcement grants do make an impact
The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office has released the following statistical data resulting from a Maine Bureau of Highway Seatbelt Grant that was awarded on May 23rd running through June 5th.
Based on the below numbers, Project Director, Deputy George Cayer said, “These numbers show the need for such enforcement activities. We are very pleased to participate in these grants as it allows for Deputies to focus on specific traffic enforcement (i.e. non-seatbelt use). Oxford County is a very large area, bordering five other counties, 100+ miles of NH border and several miles of Canadian Border. Deputies travel on the average over 200 miles a shift handling calls and sometimes have a difficult time finding the time for “focused” traffic enforcement.
Operating – (under the influence (two arrests);
Speeding - (three summonses and eight warnings);
Seat Belt – (29 summonses and seven warnings for improper use);
Operating After Suspension (two offenses);
Uninsured Motorist (three offenses);
Other Violations (15 offenses);
Total Number of Vehicles Stopped – 53.
The grants allow us to focus on specific violations and because we are on this grant we are not responsible to handle calls unless it is an emergency. As part of this activity we are just trying to do our part to educate the motorist of the State of Maine to “Buckle Up”. This strategy is all part of a national campaign that has shown that strict enforcement activity helps reduce the human and economic losses associated with non-seatbelt use.
The Sheriff’s Office has applied for an additional grant called “Impaired Driving Enforcement” that will start on July 1st and run through September 5th. This grant will allow Deputies to focus on OUI enforcement.
Deputy Cayer states, “This grant has been around for years and has made a significant impact on the numbers of OUI cases over the last two decades. I recall that back in the 1980s the numbers were extremely high, sometimes one Officer arresting four OUI’s on a weekend night. It is my belief that the number of OUI arrest we have made over the years we have saved several lives.”
"We look forward to participating in this grant if awarded; we have one location that needs specific attention as Deputies have arrested 22 subjects for OUI since the first of this year," he said.