With Maine highway deaths up 24% over last year and alcohol still playing a role in many of those deaths, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is coordinating increased traffic enforcement for Labor Day weekend.

The bureau has funneled federal highway safety money to 37 Maine police departments to fund increased enforcement for the last big weekend of the summer. State Police is one of those agencies involved.  The effort is part of the national campaign – “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”. The increased enforcement has been underway for the past two weeks and concludes Labor Day.

Highway Safety Director Lauren Stewart said 105 persons have been killed in Maine traffic crashes this year, compared to 84 deaths for the same period a year ago. Stewart said a total of eight persons were killed during the last three Labor Day weekends and Maine police will be doing their best to keep this upcoming weekend a safe one.

Stewart said,

People are continuing to die because of drunk driving which is 100% preventable. If you drink and drive, you can expect to be pulled over.

The high-visibility enforcement campaign concluding Labor Day night is a nationwide initiative led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There will be a heavy concentration in York County during the weekend , including the deployment of Highway Safety’s Roadside Testing Vehicle in support of this effort.

Maine Bureau of Highway Safety
Maine Bureau of Highway Safety

The vehicle is equipped with an Intoxilyzer to determine alcohol levels of drivers at roadside and space for drug recognition experts to test to possible drug involvement. In 2018, Maine law enforcement agencies made 7,538 drunk driving arrests according the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Stewart said,

Our purpose is to prevent fatalities, injuries and property damage from crashes. One way to do that is to STOP impaired drivers.

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