AUGUSTA – A day-long summit in Augusta today aimed at tackling the issue of substance impaired driving in Maine.
Numerous stakeholders gathered at the civic center today, including law enforcement, legislators, educators, and judiciaries.
The conference was aimed at discussing solutions to combat substance impaired driving, with effective countermeasures and new policy approaches along with a mock trial demonstrating strategies for prosecuting those drivers.
Hosted by AAA Northern New England and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, the summit brought forth new research that finds nearly half of Americans feel that drug-impaired drivers are more of a problem today than compared to three years ago.
“What we’re seeing when we pull somebody over, they have alcohol in their system but they may also be combining that with some other substance whether it be prescription medication, over the counter or an illegal substance like marijuana.” Pat Moody AAA Northern New England
“A police officer, a deputy, or a trooper that has not been trained in that may not be able to put a case together for the prosecution, and a lot of the prosecutorial districts like to have a DRE report. It’s treated the same way as somebody that drives under the influence of alcohol so we need to treat it such as that and put it the best case forward.” Trooper Aaron Turcotte Maine State Police
DRE’s or drug recognition experts use a 12-step process to check for substance impaired driving. Performing psychophysical, clinical, and eye examinations.