New laws in Maine affecting drivers

AUGUSTA (AP) — Several new laws affecting drivers have gone into effect in Maine.

Under one of the new laws that went into effect on Wednesday, Maine drivers cited for texting while driving will get a $250 minimum fine for their first violation and $500 fine for second and subsequent violations within three years. Violators will now also have their licenses temporarily suspended.

Other new laws include one that extends the license suspension for operating under the influence offenders that have been cited three or more times within 10 years. The suspension would be extended from six years to eight years.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said that he hopes the new laws will continue to improve safety on the road in Maine.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Phil Blampied's picture

Authoritarian laws just create an underground

There's always the question with punitive laws as to whether they're meant to deter anti-social behavior or just satisfy an appetite for revenge and punishment.

Vengeance doesn't always deter.

These laws are looking at people who are don't start out as criminals, but are mostly law-abiding people who have bad judgement or an addiction problem.

Heavy handed penalties can drive them further into criminality, at least in terms of forcing them to drive without a license, or develop false identification. An adult in Maine can't earn a living and lead a normal life without some sort of access to transportation, and in most places that means a car. So you have someone with at least moderate bad judgement who is now forced to engage in further illegal activities and who will find it hard to earn a legal living. Sounds like a recipe for creating thieves and drug dealers to me.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sounds like a personal

Sounds like a personal problem for those who can't get their sh*t together after having been stopped the first time. No law is forcing anyone to drive a car without a license. They and only they put themselves in that situation.

PHILIP LAINE's picture

Taking someone's license away

Taking someone's license away no matter what the infraction is does not stop a person from driving.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That's why we need stiffer

That's why we need stiffer penalties and longer suspensions. Eventually and hopefully repeat offenders will eventually land in the slammer which will get them off the roads altogether.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Nice try but......

Laws need teeth, they have to hurt, I think a lot more license suspension time would be a better deterrent to texting while driving. There are kids, and adults to for that matter, that just laugh at fines. You take away their precious car, it hurts a lot more.
Wouldn't it be fun if a judge could take away the offenders right to use a portable electronic communication devise, I know some people who would rather give up their right arm, before parting with their cell phone.
Increasing the suspension time for repeat OUI offenders, If you can't keep them from drinking and driving, what makes anyone think they can stop driving while suspended. I don't know if there is any real foolproof deterrent for drunk driving.........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot sez decapitation

The parrot sez decapitation after the first offense would be a good start. 0O:-)

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Actually............

Actually, I was going to save the beheading for "failure to yield", but I'm willing to negotiate.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'm sure we could work

I'm sure we could work something out.

AL PELLETIER's picture

How dumb is that?

Extending license suspension from six to eight years if cited three times or more within ten years.
Now that's one hell of a deterrent for habitual drunk drivers! Is this really what we're paying our lawmakers for?
Try telling your unruly teenager he or she is grounded for twelve days instead of ten. That should have lots of impact on their behavior.
I say two times at bat and strike three your out FOR LIFE!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

AGREE

AGREE

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...