The Maine Event
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety Uses LDV MCC to Stop Impaired Drivers
Photos Courtesy of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety
Larger than the other five states of New England combined, there is no shortage of majestic scenery in Maine. From the gorgeous coastline and lighthouses to picturesque autumn, beauty abounds in the Pine Tree State. Luckily for the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety’s LDV-built mobile command center, it gets to travel all over taking in the scenic beauty while keeping residents safe on their highways and roads.
Tom Reagan, the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Bureau, said the department needed a vehicle where they could do a complete evaluation of impaired driving suspects with cameras on board and audio recording. Working with drug recognition experts on what to include with the vehicle, they brought these designs to LDV and were impressed with the expertise and accuracy with which the build was approached.
While deployed, the vehicle helps the Bureau perform field sobriety tests, phlebotomy tests, and utilizes an onboard Intoxilyzer to determine if a driver is impaired. Having all of these resources available on-scene ensures the department obtains these crucial results closest to the time of vehicle operation, helping to stop impaired drivers and expedite arrests and the issuing of tickets.
“Having the Intoxilyzer in the command vehicle on-scene means there is no delay when an officer makes an arrest. The 20-minute wait period starts right away at the vehicle instead of driving 40 minutes to the station and then starting the 20-minute wait period. It gives us a much more accurate assessment of the driver and their level of impairment,” explains Reagan.
While the vehicle is packed with vital testing equipment, one thing you won’t find on board are holding cells. While some departments choose to include these on their DUI/BAT vehicles to hold offenders, the Bureau opted not to. “We don’t want to deal with them any longer than we have to,” chuckles Reagan.
Due to COVID-19, agencies are now focusing on “saturation patrols” and the use of the roadside testing vehicle is down for now. But even with a pandemic pumping the brakes on its use, Reagan is still getting the truck out in front of the community. The vehicle is hoping to participate in a virtual “Touch-A-Truck” event along with the Bangor Police Department, allowing community members, especially kids, to virtually check out the vehicle.
“Everything about the vehicle is fantastic and we’ve never had any complaints. The only issue we’ve ever had with this vehicle is a lost hubcap, and that was easy to get replaced,” Reagan says with a laugh.
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is looking forward to utilizing this vehicle for many more years to come. They look forward to its continued service in keeping the state of Maine and its residents safe.