Impaired Driving Awareness

buzzed.JPGThe South Portland Police Department takes a proactive approach to impaired driving enforcement (Operating under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs.). The ultimate goal of the South Portland Police Department is to increase impaired driving awareness and remove impaired drivers from operating on the roadway.

National statistics show the national average of people injured or killed by an impaired driver is 65 deaths or injuries per hour. That is over 1 casualty per minute.  Alcohol related crashes in the United States cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion in 2000, including $51.1 billion in monetary costs and an estimated $63.2 billion in quality of life losses. People other than the drinking driver paid $71.6 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill, which is 63 percent of the total cost of these crashes.

The charts below show the different stages of impairment, when drinking alcohol and also; if you are arrested for Operating under the influence, the cost of expenses incurred.

BAC Impairment Chart

OUI Cost Chart

Every police officer, graduating from the Police Academy, is trained in administering the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (Checking the subject's eyes for impairment.), the Walk and Turn Test, and the One Leg Stand Test.  Officers may do other types of field sobriety tests also.

The South Portland Police Department has one Standardized Field Sobriety Instructor: Lt. Thomas Simonds. Lt. Simonds instructs police officers, including the student police officers, at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, on how to properly administer the standardized field sobriety tests. The training also includes a live drinking exercise, where volunteers are dosed with alcohol at various BrACs (Breath Alcohol Content) and are evaluated by the student police officers taking the class.

Intoxilyzer8000.jpgTo measure a person's BrAC (Breath Alcohol Content) or BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) the State of Maine and the South Portland Police Department have two methods:

The first method and most popular is using a breath analyzing instrument called the Intoxilyzer 8000.

The second method is by having someone trained in drawing blood and having the sample sent to the lab.

Every police officer that graduates from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy is certified as an Intoxilyzer 8000 Operator.

The South Portland Department has one Intoxilyzer 8000 instructor: Lt. Thomas Simonds.  Lt. Simonds instructs certification classes and recertification classes to police officers all over the state, including student police officers, at The Maine Criminal Justice Academy. A police officer has to recertifiy on the Intoxilyzer 8000 every 3 years.

The South Portland Police Department also has one police officer who is a certified Law Enforcement Phlebotomist and is trained to draw blood samples for OUI purposes and is certified by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services: Ofc. Jessica Ramsay. Ofc. Ramsay has to recertify every 2 years.

If the police officer believes that an operator may under the influence of a drug, other than alcohol, he calls for a specially trained police officer able to evaluate the operator for type of drug category impairment or a possible medical issue. These Officers are called Drug Recognition Experts.

The Drug Recognition Expert uses a 12 step process to evaluate operator and which drug category(ies) involved. The Drug categories are: CNS Depressants, CNS Stimulants, Hallucinogens, Dissociative Anesthetics, Narcotic Analgesics, Inhalants, and Cannabis (Marijuana).

The South Portland Police Department has one trained Drug Recognition Expert: Ofc. Jessica Ramsey. Ofc. Ramsay is a nationally certified Drug Recognition Expert by the International Chiefs of Police and the Board of Trustees at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. 

Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals (DITEP)- This is a two day program that trains educators and medical personnel to evaluate students impaired by drugs in a school setting.

Advanced Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement (ARIDE)- This is a two day program for patrol police officers that introduces them in detecting drug impaired drivers. The ARIDE program does not qualify these officers to become Drug Recognition Experts; but is a stepping stone to becoming a Drug Recognition Expert.

For more information or questions please contact any officer below either by e-mail or phone: