As recreational marijuana becomes more prevalent, Portland PD is reminding
everyone that it is illegal to drive while high.
Portland Police have recorded a concerning rise in OUI arrests, crashes and multiple-drug impairment behind the wheel. Between Jan. 1 – April 13, 2021 Portland PD has recorded 84 OUI arrests–19 of which involved crashes. By comparison, in the same time period for 2020 and 2019 there were, respectively, 41 and 49 OUI arrests. Other than alcohol this year, there have been 13 cases involving other drugs such as opioids, methamphetamines, Xanax, cough medicine and marijuana.
As recreational marijuana becomes more prevalent, Portland PD is reminding everyone that it is illegal to drive while high. PPD has a certified drug recognition expert (DRE) on staff and recently sent 10 officers to ARIDE training–or Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement. These supplemental training courses help our officers recognize the signs of impairment from several kinds of drugs, any of which can result in OUI charges.
“Impaired driving is a serious public safety concern,” said Chief Frank Clark. “As COVID restrictions ease and people seek to return to some sense of normalcy, let’s please do so responsibly. As always, we seek the public’s voluntary compliance with Maine law. At the same time, our officers are trained to detect signs of impairment and will take enforcement action when necessary in order to reduce crashes, injuries or worse.”