AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine liquor regulators see a correlation between the popularity of nip alcohol bottles and an increase in drunken driving arrests.

Maine saw a steady decline in convictions for operating under the influence from 2006 through 2014, when drunken driving convictions plunged 38 percent. But they’ve begun climbing again, growing 8 percent to 3,735 convictions from 2015 to 2016.

The Sun Journal ( ) reports that the director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations declared the correlation to be “disturbing.”

Gregory Mineo said nips can be consumed in a “single swig” and tossed out a vehicle’s window so a motorist can avoid getting caught with an open container.

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage has taken steps to ban the sale of nip-size liquor bottles after lawmakers passed the bottle-deposit law.

Information from: Sun-Journal,

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