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AAA Northern New England & Maine Bureau of Highway Safety to Host Impaired Driving Summit June 6th in Portland


What:         Nationally recognized experts visit Maine to discuss impaired driving.

Where:       Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine.

When:        June 6th 8:30am to 3:30pm

Who:            Pat Moody
                    Director of Public Affairs
                    AAA Northern New England
                    (207) 780-6988


The effects of alcohol on driving performance and crash risk are relatively well understood but less is clear about drugs other than alcohol. This larger body of drugs with the potential to impair driving consists of recreational marijuana, some over-the-counter drugs, some prescription drugs, and most illegal drugs. The mechanism by which these drugs affect the body and behavior, the extent to which they impair driving, and the time course for the impairment of driving can differ greatly among these drugs. With a growing concern for illegal drugs in Maine and as recreational marijuana becomes readily available early next year, law enforcement and the judicial system must prepare for the challenges and unknowns that pertain to drug impaired driving.

This is the 4th annual impaired driving summit where AAA Northern New England and the Maine Bureau of Safety work together to bring nationally recognized experts to Maine to generate awareness and understanding of the issues of impaired driving.  This year attendees will learn about specific issues Colorado is dealing with in their communities, five years after marijuana legalization. Presentations will include toxicology and oral fluid discussions as well as best practices for prosecution. Summit attendees include law enforcement, legislators, administrators, judicial, educators, forensic, traffic safety professionals, and Senator Roger Katz, the chair of the Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. Draeger &  Alere will exhibit their technology for oral fluid testing which may hold future promise for roadside testing for drug impaired driving.


8:30-8:45 Introductions and Welcome- Lauren Stewart, Director, Maine Bureau of Highway Safety Maine

8:45-9:00 Welcoming Remarks – Maine State Senator Roger Katz, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation

9:00 -10:00 – “Prosecuting Cannabis Impaired Drivers”, Jennifer Tibbitts Knudsen, Colorado Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 10:45 “Advances in Oral Fluid Technology for Traffic Safety” - Tara Kelley - Baker, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

10:45-11:30 - “Toxicological Challenges to Drugged Driving” - Robert Forney, Robert Forney, Chief Toxicologist, Office of the Lucas County Coroner

11:30 – 11:45 – “Intro to Maine’s Online SFST Refresher” – Jim Lyman, Maine Criminal Justice Academy and Rachel Frost, President, Justice Planning and Management Associates (JPMA)

11:45 – 12:00 “NHTSA’s 2018 Drugged Driving Initiative” Art Kinsman, NHTSA Region 1 Administrator

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00– 1:45 “The Impact of Cannabis on Driving Performance and Safety: Insights from Naturalistic Driving Research”, Ryan Smith, Research Scientist Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

1:45 – 2:30 “Refining Ignition Interlock Laws and Programs: Increasing State Interlock Program Participation”, Tara Casanova Powell, Casanova Powell Consulting

2:30 – 2:45 Break

2:45 – 3:15– “Partnering to battle Opioids” Lt. John Sonia, Major Crime Unit New Hampshire State Police

3:15 – 3:45 “Five Ways to Improve OUI Investigation” Scott Mattox, Maine Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © AAA Northern New England. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Northern New England is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.