Maine DEEP: Driver Education & Evaluation Program

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In Maine, there is only one type of program that offers an evaluative substance abuse and educational sessions to satisfy the administrative requirements related to an OUI driver’s license suspension. The Maine DEEP, Driver Education and Evaluation Program, is the only state-approved program of alcohol education classes. Maine DEEP is Maine’s tactic to prevent repeat OUI offenses and assure public safety.

If you are accused of an OUI in Maine, it is helpful to have a good understanding of Maine DEEP. This article will explain:

If you have any questions not answered in this article, please feel free to contact us. We will help to get you the answers you deserve.

What is Maine DEEP?

Maine DEEP is the acronym for the Maine Driver Education and Evaluation Program. Maine DEEP is a specific course to address drunk driving and is put together and executed by the Maine DEEP Office, which is a part of the Office of Substance Abuse of the Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Maine.

If you have been charged with DUI, completing a Maine DEEP course is a required part of the procedure towards getting your license back after a suspension. In other words, anyone who has been charged with DUI in Maine must fulfill their DEEP requirement before they can become eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) or to have a driver’s license reinstated at the end of a license suspension

In order for a person to have their license reinstated, that person is required to have completed the following:

  • The required suspension period has been served
  • The driver has paid any reinstatement fees due to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)
  • The driver has become “Maine DEEP Compliant,” meaning that the driver has successfully completed the DEEP course and submitted proof of completion to the BMV.

How can my OUI Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

The most important way that I can help clients in getting their Maine DEEP requirement is to request a BMV Administrative Hearing on their behalf so that there is a stay (postponement) on the suspension of their driver’s license. This stay can allow clients to complete their Maine DEEP course requirement potentially before their license goes under suspension. After their license goes under suspension, it would be far more challenging to attend a weekend-long Maine DEEP course in a town that could be a distance away from where you live.Maine DEEP

Other ways I have helped clients concerning Maine DEEP include referring clients to DEEP resources, including online course schedules. I can do frequent check-ins with clients to see if they have completed the course, and I can monitor the BMV to make sure that they acknowledge proof of my client’s Maine DEEP completion.

Otherwise, signing up for and attending the Maine DEEP course is the client’s responsibility. For any specific questions regarding your situation, I encourage you to contact me directly for a free legal consultation, or call the Maine DEEP office at 207-626-8600.

When would I have to take a Maine DEEP course?

Maine DEEP is a required program for anyone charged with DUI in Maine and whose driver’s license has been suspended. While completing the Maine DEEP requirement is required in order to become eligible for an IID or for license reinstatement, there is no specific deadline to take the Maine DEEP course. This means that clients can take the Maine DEEP course at any time. At the same time, it is in clients’ best interests to complete the Maine DEEP requirement as soon as possible, because the earlier that your Maine DEEP requirement is complete, the sooner your license can be reinstated.

Where do I take a Maine DEEP course?

DEEP courses are offered at locations all across the State of Maine. The Maine DEEP course is typically held on weekends, comprising of Friday evening, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. Since Maine DEEP is not a situation where you would be in custody, you would be allowed to go home at night.

Is Maine DEEP the same for everybody?

Maine DEEP is not a one-size-fits-all program. Maine DEEP has several programs depending on the needs of the participant:

  • Risk Reduction Program: This is the most common Maine DEEP course. This is the weekend-long 20-hour program that adult DUI offenders take to meet their DEEP requirement. The focus of the Risk Reduction Program is to reduce the risk of re-offending.
  • Under 21 Program: This program is a 16-hour age-appropriate course for DUI offenders under the age of 21. For this age group, drinking alcohol is illegal.
  • Treatment Completion Program: Depending on each person’s individual circumstances, such as if the person has prior DUI offenses or had a high blood alcohol content (over 0.15), the person might be recommended by Maine DEEP to engage in one-on-one counseling with a Maine DEEP certified substance abuse counselor. Depending on the extent and nature of the person’s substance abuse issues, it could take more time to complete the Maine DEEP component if you are referred to counseling. If you are referred to individual substance abuse counseling, you would be required to bear the cost of counseling on your own.

How long is the Maine DEEP course?

The Risk Reduction Program customarily takes place over a weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If recommended for one-on-one substance abuse counseling, completing the Maine DEEP component can take longer.

How much does a Maine DEEP course cost?

The Maine DEEP course is a fee-based program for which you would be expected to pay out-of-pocket. The adult risk reduction program currently costs $300.00.

Do I get my license back after I take a Maine DEEP course?

Depending on your specific situation, you might not get your license back immediately after completing your Maine DEEP requirement. If you have additional license suspension time to serve before becoming eligible for an IID or reinstatement, you would not be getting your license back right away. Likewise, the BMV must receive proof of completion of your Maine DEEP course, and you must pay any outstanding license reinstatement fees, before your license can be reinstated fully. Any license reinstatement would not occur automatically upon receiving a Maine DEEP certificate. Significantly, your license is not reinstated until the BMV indicates that it is.

Can my old Maine DEEP course count towards a recent DUI charge?

Each time you are charged with DUI in Maine and your license goes under suspension, you are required to become Maine DEEP complaint. It is not acceptable to use a Maine DEEP course from a previous DUI offense to satisfy the Maine DEEP component for a subsequent DUI charge in Maine. Each Maine DEEP program is meant to satisfy the needs of the current offense. While the weekend-long course may have satisfied the first offense Maine DEEP requirement, subsequent DUI offenses may require a different program, such as the Treatment Completion Program.

What happens if I do not take a Maine DEEP course?

If you do not complete your Maine DEEP component, you would not become eligible for an IID and the BMV will not reinstate your driver’s license. If you still have not completed Maine DEEP by the end of your suspension period, then your license remains under suspension until your Maine DEEP requirement has been met. Operating on a license that has not yet been reinstated due to failure become Maine DEEP compliant is the same as driving with a suspended license, which can mean a charge for OAS Operating After Suspension after an OUI Operating Under the Influence. Since the suspension was for OUI, the penalties for Operating After Suspension are greater, with mandatory minimum 7 days jail time and at least 1 year additional year of license suspension. So, it is a good idea to become Maine DEEP complaint.

What if my driver’s license is from a different State?

The State of Maine requires all DUI offenders in Maine whose licenses have been suspended to register for Maine DEEP, regardless whether your driver’s license was issued in Maine or from a different State. Understandably, it might be difficult for someone who does not reside in Maine to take a DEEP course in Maine. Depending on your circumstances, if you can find a program similar to DEEP in your home state, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) may accept completion of this program to satisfy your Maine DEEP component. To confirm whether or not your home State’s program is acceptable, contact Maine DEEP directly at 207-626-8600.

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