Maine Legislature Revisits OUI Bill

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A legislative committee within the Maine legislature on Tuesday decided to delay a vote on a bill that would have established Maine’s first legal limit on how much THC drivers may have in their bloodstream in order to be charged with operating under the influence (OUI), reported the Portland Press Herald.

The committee had voted 8-5 earlier on Tuesday to reject the bill, but then decided to revive the measure for potential changes.

The Herald reported that several committee members seemed to support stripping out the proposed legal limit of five nanograms of THC per blood milliliter, while keeping other parts of the bill intact. The five-nanogram limit is in effect in Colorado and Washington, where social use of marijuana is legal. Critics have questioned the science of the five-nanogram limit, with some advocates saying the policy change could unfairly punish legal users who are not driving while impaired.

The legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voiced other concerns about the bill as it stands.

One provision of L.D. 1628 would extend Maine’s zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and underage drivers to include marijuana usage as well. Critics of the bill suggest that this could result in unfair license revocation for drivers between 18 and 20 who were not found to be impaired, but were found to have THC in the bloodstream.

Committee members have indicated that they would like to amend the bill to require that law enforcement test drivers for drugs, including marijuana, in fatal accidents.

The bill is scheduled to be revisited on Thursday, March 10.

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