AUGUSTA — During this holiday season, Maine law enforcement agencies are increasing their efforts to reduce impaired driving as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

This campaign, which encompasses the holiday season, began Dec. 14 and will run through Jan. 1, 2023.  The focus is to keep people safe on Maine roadways and prevent senseless tragedies.

“Maine law enforcement officers are on the frontline of defense when it comes to keeping all motorists safe from impaired drivers,” said Lt. Jamie Pelletier of the Madawaska Police Department in a press release. “With countless hours of training, education, and experience, officers can detect erratic operation of motor vehicles and initiate a traffic stop. During the stop, officers conduct roadside interviews with motorists looking for signs of impairment through visual/audible clues.

“Officers are out patrolling streets and rural roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with an emphasis on reducing impaired driving. Our mission is to ultimately keep the communities we serve and protect safe.”

The irresponsible decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs puts you, your passengers and everyone on the road at risk, the Bureau of Highway Safety press release said.  “We remind all drivers, from the newest to the most experienced, when celebrating the holidays to make sure to survive your drive.  It is wise to designate a sober driver or have a plan to stay with family or friends.

“Regardless of why you travel, Drive Sober, Maine!  Safety must be everyone’s highest priority so that the holiday season is not ruined by losing a loved one in a crash or having someone you love seriously injured.”

Safe driving begins with responsible choices:

  • Remember that it is never OK to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Designate a sober driver, plan to stay where you are, or plan to use public transportation/ ride service to get home safely.
  • Do you have a friend or family member who is about to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs?  Please, take the keys away and help that person plan to get back home safely.
  • Watch out for possible impaired drivers on Maine roadways. If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 9-1-1 or contact your local police department immediately.
  • With fewer daylight hours, be more cautious of pedestrians, animals and other motorists when you get behind the wheel.

The Maine Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Highway Safety reminds motorists to always drive safely, and especially to drive sober during the holiday season.  Losing your driver’s license and/or your life is no way to celebrate or end the year!

For more information on the risks of impaired driving, visit maine.gov/dps/bhs/impaired-driving/.