More in News
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
REGION -- Maine police agencies are sharing more than $440,000 in a statewide effort to combat drunk and impaired driving.
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety distributed the federal money this month and launched a program they are calling “DriveSober, Maine!” The crackdown is designed to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on Maine roads this holiday season and throughout next year.
Mexico Police Chief Jim Theriault said their department received, $9,200.
Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter said his department was awarded a $9,900. He said this is a year long grant, which will enable the department to have extra patrols during the upcoming holidays and those that follow.
“Alcohol related traffic deaths doubled in the first six months of 2012 --32 OUI deaths compared to 15 deaths during the same period in 2011. The numbers are alarming and a call to action, ” said Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.
The new program provides funding to 52 Maine law enforcement agencies to combat impaired driving by conducting overtime patrols at times and locations where drunk driving is most common.
“Highway Safety is partnering with Maine police to make our communities safer. Local law enforcement know their communities and know when and where an impaired driver is likely to be,” said Stewart.
The “DriveSober, Maine!” effort kicked off December 1 and runs through Labor Day of 2013. In addition a special holiday enforcement crackdown goes through New Years Day. That holiday effort coincides with a national campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“No one ever thinks that their holiday celebration will end in jail, in a hospital or in the morgue,” said Stewart. “But combining alcohol and driving can lead to one of those three locations. That’s why we are stepping up enforcement of impaired drivers."
The Bureau of Highway Safety offered these tips :
Be responsible -- If you will be drinking, plan not to drive. Designate a sober driver or find another way home by using a taxi or public transportation, if available, calling a sober friend or family member, or plan to spend the night.
Watch out for others -- If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact police. Your actions may save someone’s life.
Tips offered by the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition:
Take some simple steps to “party smarter” whether you’re out at bars, clubs, restaurants, or at a friends’ home or in your home.
Plan - Where are you going? Who are you going with? How are you getting home?
Prepare - Eat, drink water, and make sure you take just enough money to have a good time. Leave the credit cards at home!
Pace – Limit how much you drink in a night.