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By: John S. Webb, Portland, Maine DUI Attorney and Best Criminal Lawyer Near Me

Portland Maine Saco DUI Lawyer John S. Webb
A DUI charge is a serious offense that should NEVER be taken lightly. In the state of Maine first-time OUI offenders could face more jail time, a $500 fine, and a 90-day license suspension. A first offense doesn’t include a possible probation period.

ME first drunk driving offense lawyers
If you’ve been arrested in southern Maine for DUI-OUI, it’s crucial you consider local law firms near me and then hire an attorney to represent you and help guide you to the best possible outcome. No person facing prosecution for a Maine OUI should try to navigate the legal process by themselves.

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Portland Maine Saco Criminal Defense Lawyer John Webb
By: John S. Webb, Top-Rated Lawyer in Maine: Offices in Portland ME & Saco ME

Posted: March 2, 2021

Facing criminal charges turns a person’s world upside down. The accused person’s plans are thrown into a cauldron of uncertainty, fear of the unknown, and often a deep sense of regret. Taking on the responsibility for relentlessly investigating to find solutions for our clients is why our Maine criminal defense lawyers exist.

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By Saco ME and Portland ME OUI Super Lawyer John S. Webb With Over 25 Years of Courtroom Experience – Offering a Free Lawyer Consultation

Portland Maine Saco Criminal Lawyer John S. Webb
Under Maine Title 28-A, possession, consumption, or purchase of alcohol by a minor under 21 years old can cost up to $400 in fines (assuming it is a minor in possession first offense). Parents who allow minors in their control, or in a place under their control (main residence, beach house), to consume alcohol are facing a Class D crime, meaning that it is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. If the minor is less than 18 years old, then there is a mandatory fine of not less than $1,000 (for a first offense).

If a minor is found illegally transporting alcohol, they can face a fine up to $500 as well as have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days (again, assuming a first offense). Lastly, a minor found to have any alcohol at all in their bloodstream while driving (OUI Under 21) can have their license suspended for a year if the minor is alone in the vehicle – or two and a half years if they have a passenger under 21 in the car. They can then face even harsher punitive action if they are a .08 BAC or above.

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Police manipulate breath testing devices (breath alcohol machine) by controlling the way people blow into them. Usually, police officers tell a person taking an alcohol breath test to take a deep breath and to blow into the machine as long as possible. During the test the officers will encourage this by telling the test subject to “blow, blow, blow” until the person runs out of breath. The alcohol breath test results then produce a falsely high number.

The blow alcohol tester machines are designed to estimate your blood alcohol content or BAC by measuring your breath alcohol. To do this the machines must use certain assumptions about your temperature, blood particulate levels, and several other factors.

By far the most important factor is temperature. Henry’s Law says that the concentration of a substance contained in the gas found in the headspace over a liquid is directly proportional to the temperature at the point of exchange. In breath testing terms this means that the warmer your lungs are, the more alcohol will be in your breath, regardless of the concentration of alcohol in your blood.

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DUI Marijuana Laws in MaineEven if you are not stoned, you can lose your license in Maine if you are convicted of DUI marijuana, also known as DUI weed. Maine drug law says that if there is probable cause to believe you are under the influence of some drug, and you show a positive test for a drug metabolite in your urine or hair tests, your driver’s license will be suspended.

The problem with this marijuana impaired driving law is threefold.

First, probable cause is a very low standard of proof. It isn’t even proof that something is more likely than not, it is a mere suspicion based on observed facts. How little proof is required? The case of State v. Webster, 2000 ME 115, the defendant made an illegal U-turn. When police stopped him he denied any recent drinking, but the officer smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer then gave Webster field sobriety tests which he PASSED. Despite passing the tests, Webster was arrested. His breath tested at a .10% alcohol.

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alochol-300x199When I last wrote I discussed whether a warrant was needed for a breath test. I argued that a warrant was needed based on previous Supreme Court cases. I was happy that one judge agreed with me.

Well, a couple of weeks ago the Supreme Court decided North Dakota v. Birchfeld. They held that a breath test was a search, but that a warrant wasn’t needed. The Court basically said a breath test is not particularly intrusive. They concluded it can be done when someone is arrested as a search incident to that arrest. Again, one judge – Justice Sotomayor – agreed with me, that a warrant should be required.

The Court reaffirmed that a warrant is needed for a blood test. They also held that a state cannot make it a crime to refuse a blood test without a warrant because that would penalize people for asserting Fourth Amendment rights when the person insisted on a warrant. Although urine tests were not at issue, they will probably be treated the same way as blood tests, and a warrant will be required. I still think these rules should apply to breath tests, too.

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