Maine Has the Most Drunk and High Drivers in the Northeast
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
This is a pretty scary and unsettling statistic about Maine because it's a deadly one. Operating Under the Influence or OUI as it's called in Maine, known as DUI's or Driving Under the Influence for non-Mainers, is quite the issue right now as crashes, including fatalities in Maine increased 10% from 2019 to 2021, this according to the Bangor Daily News.
In fact, Maine holds the unfortunate title as the state with the highest incidents for drunk and high drivers in the Northeast because of these skyrocketing OUI's, and that puts it on the list as one of the worst states in the country according to Zutobi, a driver's education site.
Among this Zutobi data, Maine has more fatalities then any other state in the Northeast relating to OUI's.
Bangor Daily News points out that just in the Portland metro, OUI"s jumped 12% from 2019 to 2021.
Of course when you look at the dates, you can't help but wonder how much of a role the pandemic played in these disturbing statistics?
The Maine Department of Transportation data says OUI crashes last year, in 2021 caused 136 serious injuries and 23 deaths, most commonly associated with drunk driving followed by opioids.
Let's hope as we all continue to find ways to reenter the world and the after affects we're dealing with from this pandemic and the isolation, these numbers will dwindle.
And it's not just OUI's at this point for Maine. According to the United States Centers for Disease and Control, Mainer's abuse of alcohol remains a significant problem with the highest rate of alcoholic liver disease deaths in the Northeast in 2020, putting Maine as the 11th-highest rate of such deaths in the country.
If you're struggling with addiction in Maine or know someone who is, then click here.