Yes, You Are Seeing More Sobriety Checkpoints. Here’s Why.
On social media, there's been quite a bit of scuttlebutt about an increase in sobriety checkpoints. We've seen our fair share in this area recently. From late night ones, to daytime ones on Route 1A to try and combat the speeding problem they're having. Complain about the inconvenience all you want, but it is just law enforcement trying to make our roads safer.
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety awarded grants to 40 law enforcement agencies around the state to help crack down on impaired driving, according to WGME TV-13. It's part of the state's campaign "Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over". It supplied some funding for more checkpoints, and more officers on the ground. Lauren Stewart from the MBHS had this to say:
Impaired driving continues to be a big problem for us here in the state of Maine, both alcohol and drugs. More than 30% of our crashes, our fatal crashes, are impairment so it's not something we can stop working on.
I mean really... just a few days ago in Gardiner, a 19-year-old man was arrested for OUI. Three hours later, his mother came to bail him out, and she was also charged with OUI. Who does that?! And I'm not saying it's a bigger problem in Maine than other places, but it's a problem just the same.
And it's not just alcohol. With the legalization of cannabis in our state, law enforcement have to try and adequately assess the potential for people who are driving high on weed. And sometimes these checkpoints play a key role in that.
I also hear sometimes that people think it's a waste of time, when they hear that only two or three people were arrested. Really?! That means they got three drunk drivers off the road! That's three times that a person didn't accidentally kill someone else, or themselves. That's worth it every time.
This campaign will be going through the Labor Day weekend, which is a big weekend for travel on Maine roads. You should definitely expect to see some checkpoints, and certainly an increased police presence out there. Again, if you haven't been drinking or using drugs, then you have nothing to fear. But if you're driving impaired... Be very afraid.