Monmouth police have received federal money to crack down on drunken drivers.

Police Chief Kevin Mulherin said his department has received a $7,500 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant to add patrols specifically targeting drivers who are impaired.

Mulherin said the grant will pay for 22 additional patrols. The extra officer will not respond to routine calls, but will instead specifically be on the lookout for drunken drivers, Mulherin said. The patrols will target three undisclosed sections of the town, he said.

It is illegal in Maine for those 21 and older to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater. Any trace of alcohol constitutes a violation for those 20 and younger.

The state immediately suspends the driver’s license of anyone accused of operating under the influence, even before their case is tried in court.

The minimum penalty for a first-time OUI conviction is a 150-day driver’s license suspension and $500 fine.

According to the Department of the Secretary of State, costs associated with an OUI conviction can reach $7,000.

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