Maine Legal Group Logo
Main Office
Satellite Office
Consultations by Appointment Only

How the Craft Beer Scene in Maine is Changing OUI Enforcement

As the craft beer scene continues to explode throughout southern Maine, police have altered their enforcement techniques to pull over and arrest more people for operating under the influence (OUI). By patrolling around breweries and craft beer bars on popular nights and on busy streets, police hope to make more arrests than before.

Craft Beer Scene in Maine Grows

In only the past decade or so, microbreweries and craft beers have exploded in popularity as more and more people look for alternatives to the “same old beer.” The newfound interest in something new has led to a resurgence in forgotten styles of beer, like porters and India Pale Ales (IPAs), and led garage brewers to start up their own small breweries and sell their beers, rather than just enjoy them with friends.

Now, there are more than 150 breweries in Maine, alone, with microbreweries in all counties and in most towns. In the small town of Biddeford, alone, population 21,000, there’s Banded Brewing Company and Nuts & Bolts Brewing. Cross the river into Saco, and you’ll find Barreled Souls Brewing as well as Run of the Mill, and the Funky Bow Brewery and Beer Company over towards Lyman.

Other areas in Maine – especially Portland and Bangor – have even hotter craft beer scenes.

Police Have Changed Their OUI Tactics to Target Breweries

One group of people who have noticed a trend towards drinking alcohol in breweries and craft pubs has been the police. They see tasting rooms and microbreweries as strong potential sources of drunk driving and have begun to monitor them for events and popular nights when they are likely to be filled with patrons. On those nights, police step up their patrols on major streets leaving the brewery or craft beer bar, looking to pull drivers over for minor traffic violations so they can gather more evidence of an OUI crime.

In some rare cases, this increased enforcement comes in the form of a sobriety checkpoint. However, the extra work and manpower that go into sobriety checkpoints make them inefficient for policing patrons who are just leaving a brewery, without someone else going on – there just aren’t enough people to make a checkpoint worth it. Additionally, police have to notify the media about a sobriety checkpoint at least 24 hours before conducting one, putting patrons on the alert.

More common are traditional saturation patrols. These are police officers whose sole job is to spend their shifts on the hunt for drunk drivers. They are stationed on major thoroughfares around breweries and craft beer bars on popular nights and do not respond to typical calls.

Maine Criminal Defense Group: OUI-Defense Lawyers Serving Southern Maine

People who enjoy the new beer scene in Maine and regularly frequent Maine’s many microbreweries may have seen the increased police presence outside their favorite tasting rooms. Extra police are not there by mistake. They are on the hunt for OUI violations and will use pretextual stops to find it.

If you have been pulled over and arrested for OUI in Portland, Saco, or Biddeford, call the OUI-defense lawyers at Maine Criminal Defense Group at (207) 571-8146 or contact them online.


Contact our office to speak with
one of our team members who will set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case.


Great group of people. Managed to get me a favorable outcome from a very bad situation. I would highly recommend this firm if you have legal troubles. Top notch performance!!

Dave Allen

So thankful I chose this team to represent me. They’re the best, hands down. Nathan Hitchcock proved my innocence not once but TWICE, including a trial by jury. I have a family in law enforcement who told me “Bill Bly and his team are the best. If I would recommend anyone, it would be them.”

Brandon Albert





Ready to Get Started? Get In Touch With Us Today!

If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Get to Know Our Group
Maine Legal Group

We are a boutique law firm, and we stand out by prioritizing our clients’ well-being. At The Maine Legal Group, our experienced team offers personalized attention in both criminal defense and divorce cases.

The Maine Criminal Defense Group

The Maine Criminal Defense Group adeptly handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including experienced and skilled legal representation for state and federal charges.

The Maine Divorce Group

The Maine Divorce Group empowers individuals skillfully navigating divorce with compassionate guidance, ensuring a brighter future through the challenges of the process.