State Toughens Up Drunk Driving Law

ELLSWORTH — Starting last weekend, it got a lot tougher to beat a drunk driving charge.


On Saturday, Maine joined the rest of the nation when a law took effect giving breath alcohol tests the same validity as blood alcohol tests.

The new law provides two standards for operating under the influence: alcohol level of .08 per grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or alcohol level of .08 per 210 liters of breath.

The new law eliminates the conversion of breath alcohol levels to blood alcohol levels for purposes of prosecution.

Attorneys and scientists say in such conversions there’s a margin of error because there is no direct correlation between breath and blood.

This margin of error enabled defense attorneys to argue there was reasonable doubt that their clients were actually a .08 blood alcohol level, which is the level Maine considers intoxicated.

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