RAYMOND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Twelve municipal police departments, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and Maine State Police have pooled their resources as part of a new program designed to make Maine's roads safer.
In April, the departments signed on to pool their resources as part of the R.I.D.E. (Regional Impaired Driver Enforcement) program, and use federal grant money to target drunk and drugged drivers in Cumberland County.
According to Robert Annese, a police liaison with the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, the program has been a huge success. He says officers have conducted eight saturation patrols and OUI checkpoints since April and have arrested 45 people for operating under the influence, including one 14 year old.
Annese says they have also made 5 drug busts, arrested one drug impaired driver and handed out over 500 warnings for a variety of vehicle violations.
The officers involved say the program provides money and resources individual departments just cannot come up with due to increased calls for service and shrinking budgets.
Members of the R.I.D.E. team will be out on the county's roads this holiday weekend looking to get drunk drivers off the roads, and increase their visibility to keep aggressive drivers in check.
Maine State Police will also have additional patrols out over the Labor Day weekend, with their enforcement efforts focused on aggressive drivers, people who are texting while driving and people who are not in compliance with the state's seatbelt laws.