Don’t drink and drive: Law enforcement asks Mainers to celebrate responsibly this New Year’s Eve

Officials have some tips on how to get home safe from your celebrations.
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:07 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Law enforcement across Maine are stepping up patrols for New Year’s Eve.

Officials have some tips on how to get home safe from your celebrations.

”We want to be respectful of everybody’s ability to go out and celebrate and have fun, but we just want you to be careful and make sure that you get home to your families,” said Lauren Stewart, Director of Maine’s Bureau of Highway Safety.

Law enforcement and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety are reminding drivers to be safe celebrating the new year.

Even with the ongoing pandemic, officials are expecting more folks to be out on the roads.

“We’re just asking that the public be smart,” said Maine State Trooper, Taylor Dube.

Motor-vehicle-related fatalities are down in Maine this year.

According to the Bureau of Highway Safety, 150 people died in motor vehicle crashes this year, that’s down from 164 deaths in 2020.

“That’s reason to celebrate that fewer people have died on our highways,” Stewart said.

Law enforcement are encouraging safe driving, asking folks to plan ahead and depart early for your New Year’s celebration.

It’s also crucial to be mindful of road conditions and always drive the speed limit.

“You can be summonsed for imprudent speed if a police officer feels that you’re traveling too fast for the road conditions, even if you’re technically not speeding per the posted speed limit of that road,” said Dube.

In addition to driving safely, motorists are also urged to drive sober.

“Don’t chance it.” he said. “Don’t drive buzzed. If you’ve had a couple of drinks, let someone else drive. Find another way to get home. It’s not worth getting behind the wheel intoxicated because it could mean your life, somebody else’s life, family member.”

If you are caught driving under the influence, you could be facing some stiff penalties.

“You’re going to lose your license,” Dube said. “You’ll probably end up doing some time in jail. Typically, the costs that are associated with court proceedings from that are in the neighborhood of about $10,000.”

If you can’t get a ride from a friend, take advantage of ride-share services like Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service.

If you are out in your travels and notice another driver is impaired, officials say, report it.

“Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency to get them off the road,” said Stewart. “Have fun. Be safe. Let’s all get home to our loved ones and start 2022 off on the right foot.”

On average, a DUI can set you back $10K in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and the list goes on. Don’t waste your hard-earned cash on a bad decision. #DriveSober or Get Pulled Over.

Posted by Maine Bureau of Highway Safety on Monday, December 20, 2021

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