What recent changes have been made to our state’s DUI/DWI laws in Maine?In April 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law a bill that made significant changes to the state’s DUI/DWI laws. The most prominent changes include increasing the penalty for operating under the influence (OUI) to a Class C crime, meaning that individuals convicted of a second OUI offense in 10 years will be subject to up to 5 years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines. Additionally, the new law requires the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for all individuals convicted of an OUI offense, regardless of whether they have prior convictions. The law also increases license suspensions for those convicted of an OUI and requires standardized field sobriety tests be administered in the same manner across all law enforcement agencies. Finally, it increases the allowable blood alcohol concentration for drivers under 21 from .02% to .04%.
Have there been updates to the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit in Maine?Yes, there have been updates to Maine’s legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit. The legal limit for drivers aged 21 and over is 0.08%, and the limit for those operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04%. For drivers aged under 21, the legal limit is 0.02%.
How have penalties for first-time DUI offenders changed in recent years in Maine?In recent years, the penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Maine have become stricter. First-time offenders in Maine now face a mandatory minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail, a $500-$1000 fine, a one year license suspension, mandatory alcohol counseling and treatment, and participation in the Impaired Driver Education Program. They may also be subject to additional fines and community service.
Are there new ignition interlock device (IID) requirements or policies in Maine?Yes, there are new ignition interlock device (IID) requirements and policies in Maine. In July 2020, Maine enacted a law requiring the use of IIDs for those convicted of operating under the influence (OUI) offenses. The new law requires first-time OUI offenders to install an IID in their vehicle for at least six months, while repeat offenders must install an IID for at least one year.
Have there been changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Maine?Yes, there have been some changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Maine. For example, as of July 2020, police are now required to announce checkpoints ahead of time through press releases and other forms of public outreach. Furthermore, police must now provide a record of a checkpoint’s operational plan in advance for review by a court. Additionally, officers must use video and audio recordings to document checkpoints and must also clearly mark the areas where drivers are stopped. Finally, officers must also provide each driver with a written statement explaining why they were stopped and what their rights are.
What impact have recent legal changes had on DUI/DWI sentencing in Maine?In 2019, Maine passed a new law that requires anyone convicted of DUI or OUI (operating under the influence), even first-time offenders, to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle. This device requires drivers to blow into a breathalyzer before the engine will start, and is designed to prevent people from starting their vehicles if they are intoxicated. The law also increases the criminal penalties for those convicted of DUI or OUI, including mandatory jail time for repeat offenders. For first-time offenders, the maximum jail sentence has been increased to 364 days, while the maximum fine has increased from $500 to $2,000. Additionally, the court can order that drivers complete an alcohol education program as part of their sentence.
Are there new diversion or treatment programs for DUI offenders in Maine?Yes, there are several diversion and treatment programs available for DUI offenders in Maine. These programs are designed to help individuals receive the help they need to overcome addiction and prevent further DUIs. Some of the programs available include the Maine Impaired Driver Program, the Maine First-Time Offender Program, and Alcoholics Anonymous-based treatment programs.
Has the process for DUI/DWI testing or blood draws been modified in Maine?Yes, the process for DUI/DWI testing and blood draws in Maine has been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A physician or medical professional must be present whenever a blood draw is conducted, and all personnel involved in the process must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Additionally, all individuals involved in the process must maintain social distancing protocols, and all surfaces must be regularly sanitized. Health care providers have also been encouraged to use alternative testing methods whenever possible.
Have recent changes affected the availability of plea bargains in DUI cases in Maine?It is difficult to determine whether recent changes have affected the availability of plea bargains in DUI cases in Maine due to a lack of available data. However, the Maine Bar Association notes that while plea bargains are common, they are not guaranteed in any criminal case, including DUI cases. Generally speaking, the prosecutor has the discretion to offer a plea bargain or to proceed to trial.
Are there specific changes in DUI laws for underage drivers in Maine?Yes. In Maine, drivers under the age of 21 years old are subject to more severe penalties for driving under the influence than drivers 21 and over. The legal limit for an underage driver in Maine is 0.02%, which is much lower than the legal limit for adults, which is 0.08%. If an underage driver is found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02% or higher, they face a suspension of their license for at least 6 months. In addition, any underage driver convicted of a DUI in Maine can expect to serve at least 48 hours in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000.
Have there been updates to DUI laws regarding marijuana or other drugs in Maine?Yes, in 2019, Maine made changes to its DUI laws regarding marijuana and other drugs. The new laws make it illegal to drive with a THC blood concentration of 5 nanograms per milliliter or higher. The new laws also make it illegal for drivers to be impaired by any psychoactive substance, including marijuana and other drugs. Additionally, the laws provide stricter penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence of these substances.
What changes have been made to DUI penalties for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in Maine?In Maine, the penalties for DUI offenses involving commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders have been strengthened. First-time offenders now face a one-year suspension without eligibility for a restricted license or early reinstatement. In addition, a second-time offender will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle. Third-time offenders face lifetime disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Are there new reporting requirements for DUI/DWI convictions to other states in Maine?No, there are no new reporting requirements for DUI/DWI convictions to other states in Maine. DUI/DWI convictions are reported to the National Driver Register (NDR) by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). All states are required to check the NDR when issuing a driver’s license.
How have recent changes impacted the use of body cameras or dashcams during DUI stops in Maine?Recent changes have had a significant impact on the use of body cameras or dashcams during DUI stops in Maine. In 2019, the Maine legislature passed a law that requires police officers to wear body cameras or have dashcams in their cruisers when conducting DUI stops. This law also requires police officers to inform drivers that they are being recorded and provide them with a copy of the footage upon request. Additionally, the law requires police officers to activate their dashcam prior to initiating any traffic stop, including DUI stops. The new law also ensures that all footage captured by body cameras or dashcams is automatically uploaded to a secure server and cannot be altered or deleted. These changes have provided greater transparency and oversight into DUI stops, helping to ensure that drivers are treated fairly and any potential misconduct is quickly addressed.
Have there been changes to DUI laws related to accidents causing injury or death in Maine?Yes. In Maine, the penalty for a DUI causing injury or death was increased in 2018. The maximum penalty for a DUI resulting in serious bodily injury increased from 10 years to 15 years in prison and from a $20,000 fine to $50,000. The maximum penalty for a DUI causing death was increased from 30 years to 40 years and from a $50,000 fine to $100,000.
Are there new policies or laws regarding DUI expungement or record sealing in Maine?Yes, there are new policies and laws regarding DUI expungement and record sealing in Maine. In 2021, Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 997, An Act To Allow for the Expungement of Operating Under the Influence Convictions. This law allows people convicted of operating under the influence (OUI) to petition a court to have their conviction expunged from their criminal record after seven years. The conviction can only be expunged if the individual has not been convicted of any other criminal offenses in the seven-year period and is not currently facing any criminal charges.
Have recent legal changes affected DUI insurance rates in Maine?Yes. In 2019, Maine passed a new law that requires a conviction for operating under the influence (OUI) to include a minimum of 5 days in jail and a minimum fine of $500 in addition to license suspension. This law has resulted in higher DUI auto insurance rates in Maine.
What changes have been made to DUI/DWI court processes and procedures in Maine?In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Maine has made several changes to DUI/DWI court processes and procedures. These changes include the implementation of virtual hearings, the suspension of in-person court appearances, and the allowance of electronic filings and signatures. Additionally, Maine courts have adopted staggered court times, increased cleaning and hygiene practices, and installed Plexiglas barriers to ensure social distancing.
Are there additional resources or diversion programs for individuals with substance abuse issues in Maine?Yes, there are numerous substance abuse resources and diversion programs available in Maine. These include state-funded treatment programs, peer recovery support services, community-based prevention programs, and recovery support resources. Additionally, many counties and municipalities have diversion programs that offer court-ordered participation in substance abuse treatment or other services for individuals who have been arrested for a drug-related offense. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is the state agency responsible for regulating substance abuse programs in Maine and offers more comprehensive information on available resources.
What is the process for staying informed about ongoing and future changes in DUI/DWI laws in Maine?1. Stay up-to-date on news related to DUI/DWI laws in Maine by reading local news sources regularly. Many newspapers and television stations have websites dedicated to local news and updates.
2. Sign up for email alerts from the Maine Legislature’s website. The Maine Legislature website provides updates on proposed legislation, as well as news from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
3. Follow Maine-based organizations on social media that focus on DUI/DWI laws in Maine, such as the Alliance of Maine DUI Attorneys and End DWI Maine. These organizations provide regular updates on legislative changes and other important news related to DUI/DWI laws in the state.
4. Attend DUI/DWI law seminars or conferences in the state to stay informed. Many organizations host seminars and conferences throughout the year that provide updates on changes in DUI/DWI laws in Maine.