Impaired driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse.
- Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
- In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—one every 51 minutes.
- Problem drinkers have twice as many injury events per year and four times as many hospitalizations for injuries.
- In recent years, an estimated 1.9 million emergency department visits were associated with substance misuse or abuse, with alcohol continuing to be the primary substance that is misused or abused.
- Many drinkers are not aware that they are misusing or abusing alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week for men, or more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week for women is considered “at-risk” or “heavy” drinking.
- In April 2010, 870 people died in crashes in which the drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, which is illegal per se in every State in the United States.
Drivers Under the Influence are getting caught!
Increased resources over the last several years in Maine have resulted in the conviction of more and more drivers operating under the influence than ever before.
Enforcement - Special funds have been made available to law enforcement agencies for road blocks and special patrols aimed solely at apprehending impaired drivers.
Alcohol Testing - Instant, reliable testing equipment is now available statewide, even in many remote areas, for measuring the alcohol content of driver's blood.
OUI Drug Law - Maine has trained police officers to detect the presence of drugs other than alcohol in impaired drivers. The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program provides the evidence needed to successfully prosecute drivers for operating under the influence.
Public Outcry - Thanks to the effort of many organizations in the area of public information and education, it is no longer a socially acceptable practice to drive impaired by alcohol or any other drug.
Drinking and Driving is Expensive! These are some estimated costs you may incur if you choose to drink and drive:
|Alcohol Education Course||$105|
|3-Year Insurance Surcharge||$4000|
|Loss of Work Time||$300|
And that's only for the first offense. You could lose your license for at least 90 days. If you drive before getting your license back it could mean jail, a fine, and an additional license suspension.
The quantity of alcohol in a half pint glass of beer is approximately the same as in a pub measure of spirits or in a glass of wine.