On April 30, you published a horrifying piece about the number of repeat operating-under-the-influence offenders here in Maine.

We love living in Maine, but having lived here for four years, we find the frequency of centerline fatalities striking and frightening. One has to think that alcohol-impaired drivers play a large role in these almost daily horror shows.

You mentioned that one of the few effective means of keeping drunks from driving is an ignition-killing device whereby they effectively have to pass an alcohol breath test to enable the car to start. Further, you commented on the judiciary’s reluctance to insist on the installation of these in many “frequent flier” OUI cases.

Do our judges understand who they are primarily charged with protecting? That would be us citizens, your honors! I find it incredible that for the $150 in cost that you mentioned, these wouldn’t be required in every multiple OUI case! Let’s revisit our priorities here, and, if the judges don’t understand the importance of this, maybe our state legislators should make this remedy statutory.

As an aside, several months ago, I heard a piece on the radio about the question of adding a deposit for “nips” (miniature bottles of liquor). Do you know anyone who has ever purchased a nip whom you weren’t at least suspecting had a real drinking problem?

In my 60-plus years, I can’t recall anyone who didn’t seem to have a drinking problem buying these, and I’ll wager that well over 80 percent of them get consumed behind the wheel. (My highway cleanup experience supports this belief.) Really, we’re worried about the deposit on them?

As a public safety question, maybe we should be asking why they are for sale at all. Hey, I like a drink or two in the evening, but not in control of 4,000 pounds of steel and high explosives!

Scott Gile

Bailey Island

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