The Department amended this rule to update requirements for law enforcement agencies and laboratories involved in testing of persons suspected of operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (29-A MRS §§ 2431-2528). The adopted rule is consistent with legislative changes enacted by the 129th Maine State Legislature, impacting certification, sample collection and testing for intoxicating substances. This rule ensures accurate testing for forensic purposes and compliance with applicable rules and standards. Adopted routine technical rule changes include the following:
- Revised title from Rules for Sample Collection and Drug Testing in Suspected O.U.I. Cases to Sample Collection and Drug Testing Rule for Suspected Operating Under the Influence Cases;
- Added definition for Drug Recognition Expert (DRE);
- Replaced substance of abuse with substance of use;
- Removed obsolete language and verbiage;
- Updated accreditation requirements, testing standards, laboratory technical director and analyst qualifications, for quality assurance purposes;
- Updated reference to the lab’s accreditation board, removing ASCLD-LAB and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), the specific names listed in rule for approving bodies of proficiency testing programs.
- Replaced the term urine drug analysis with toxicology analysis, where applicable;
- Clarified requirements related to procedure manuals, sample collection and storage, and release of samples;
- Clarified analysis of blood for alcohol level; and
- Revised formatting conventions and other minor non-substantive changes to language and grammar.
Additionally, in response to public comment, the Department further revised Section 2(A) to clarify that there is flexibility in the settings where qualified persons draw blood, and changed the order of paragraphs (1)(c) and (1)(d) to improve readability. All blood specimens must be collected by a qualified person in a manner consistent with the qualified person’s professional training. Urine samples must only be collected in a law enforcement facility or healthcare facility, to protect the individual’s privacy.
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 3, 2023
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Bridget Bagley, Policy Analyst, 11 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04330. Telephone: (207) 287-9394. Email:.Bridget.Bagley@Maine.gov.
MAINE CDC RULES WEBSITE: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/
MAINE CDC WEBSITE: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/.
DHHS WEBSITE: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/.
DHHS RULEMAKING LIAISON: Sara.Gagne-Holmes@Maine.gov.
Office: Maine CDC