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Maine Traffic Laws

From scenic coastal drives to bustling downtown Portland, Maine roadways can be full of surprises. Unfortunately, some of those surprises are dangerous. If you don't follow the law to reduce potential danger, you might end up with a ticket or accident.

Be ready for your adventures by understanding Maine's traffic laws. Learn about the statewide rules for driving and vehicles, plus what penalties you could face for breaking them.

Key Rules of the Road in Maine

You can find the state's motor vehicle laws in Title 29-A of the Maine Revised Statutes. Read a few popular driving rules in the chart below.

Drinking & Driving Violations Criminal OUI (MRS Title 29-A section 2411)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License License required (MRS Title 29-A section 1251)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance Financial responsibility and insurance (MRS Title 29-A Chapter 13)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Registration required (MRS Title 29-A section 351)
Illegal U-Turn U-turns (MRS Title 29-A section 2072)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run Accidents involving death or personal injury (MRS Title 29-A section 2252)Accidents involving vehicle damage (MRS Title 29-A section 2253)
Mechanical Violations and Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Equipment (MRS Title 29-A Chapter 17)
Reckless Driving Driving to endanger (MRS Title 29-A section 2413)
Right of Way Right-of-way (MRS Title 29-A section 2053)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Traffic control devices (MRS Title 29-A section 2057)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Use of safety seat belts (MRS Title 29-A section 2081)
Speeding Rates of speed (MRS Title 29-A section 2074)Other speed regulations (MRS Title 29-A section 2075)

Maine Speed Limits

Speeding is a common moving violation. According to the Maine Department of Transportation, 555 crashes involved speeding in 2020. Another 2,815 crashes involved driving too fast for the road conditions at the time, even if the driver's speed was technically within the limit.

The state law sets default speed limits for road types, including:

  • 15 miles per hour in a school zone, mostly at times when children are more likely to be outside the school building
  • 25 miles per hour in a business or residential area
  • 45 miles per hour on other roads

Always follow the posted speed limits, which can override the above default speeds. Pay attention to road signs and the flow of traffic while driving to avoid a speeding ticket or car accident. You should also slow down for conditions like rain and snow.

Traffic Violations and Penalties

Traffic stops can be a stressful experience. Getting pulled over by a Maine State Police officer often means facing a traffic ticket or arrest.

While most traffic infractions involve paying a fine, other cases have higher penalties. For example, a first-time operating under the influence (OUI) offense can cause you to spend two days in jail. You may also lose your driving privileges for 150 days.

Maine can also suspend your driver's license if you have enough traffic violations on your driving record. Under Maine's demerit point system, most violations are worth a specific number of points. For example, an illegal left turn is two points, but running a red traffic light is four points. Getting 12 points within one year results in license suspension.

Get Legal Advice for a Traffic Case

You have a limited chance to defend yourself after you get a citation or criminal charges. Sometimes, drivers can successfully fight tickets to protect their licenses. You can promptly review your case with a Maine traffic law attorney to learn about your options.

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