AUGUSTA – Despite a pandemic related decrease in road travel, traffic related deaths so far in 2020 are slightly higher than last year with an increase over last year’s total of 157. The Maine Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Highway Safety wants to remind motorists to drive safely, and especially to drive sober, this holiday season.
As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s impaired driving campaign, state and municipal police and sheriff’s departments will be stepping up patrols between now and New Year’s to help ensure the roads are safe for all travelers. As always, there is a zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving.
The Bureau of Highway Safety recommends these safe alternatives to drinking or doing drugs and driving:
- Remember that it is never okay to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911 or contact your local police department right away.
- If you have a friend who is about to drink or do drugs and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
“Drunk and drugged driving is 100 percent preventable,” Director of Maine’s Bureau of Highway Safety Lauren V. Stewart said. “If you feel different, you drive different and you should not be behind the wheel taking a chance on seriously injuring or killing yourself or another person on the road with you.”
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety reports 31 percent of fatal crashes in 2019 involved alcohol or drugs.