AG Fox Honored by National Organization for His Efforts to Fight Drunk Driving, Underage Drinking

Today, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org), a national not-for-profit organization that leads the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking, announced the recipients of its 2017 Leadership Awards. Among the recipients is Montana Attorney General Tim Fox for his leadership in preventing impaired driving and underage drinking and for promoting teen driver safety.

“The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has spent two decades fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. We’re proud of the fact that both drunk driving fatalities (down 36 percent since 1982), and instances of underage drinking (down 43 percent since 1991 among 12-13 year olds), are at all-time lows,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of Responsibility.org. “Attorney General Fox exhibits a strong commitment to saving lives on our nation’s roadways by championing comprehensive impaired driving legislation and bringing increased awareness to the dangers and seriousness of drug-impaired driving.”

According to the 2017 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a little over 3% of Montana high schoolers reported driving a vehicle once in the past 30 days after drinking alcohol.  “It’s important for Montana teens to hear early and often about the dangers of underage drinking, and what the legal consequences are for young people who risk drinking and driving,” Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “I hope parents and grandparents will continue to look for opportunities to talk to the high school students in their lives about the importance of making good decisions every time they get behind the wheel, and what can happen if they don’t use good judgment – even just once.”

Attorney General Fox has made it a priority to prevent underage drinking through numerous efforts including public service announcements, the Ask, Listen, Learn Program, and public awareness efforts during Alcohol Awareness Month and back to school timeframes. He has also focused on the broader issue of teen driver safety with the IKnowEverything program during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month and National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Additionally, Attorney General Fox has worked diligently to make Montana’s streets and highways safer by making sure the state’s DUI laws are effective. In the 2013 Legislative session, Attorney General Fox introduced two important DUI bills: HB 355 (Rep. Christy Clark, R-Choteau), which allows a judge to go back further in a repeat DUI offender’s record to deliver stiffer penalties and get them into successful treatment programs; and, because marijuana is a growing factor in traffic accidents and roadway deaths, Attorney General Fox advanced HB 168 (Rep. Doc Moore, R-Missoula), which established a THC impairment standard for all drivers. In the 2015 session, Attorney General Fox advocated for HB 488 (Rep. Keith Regier, R–Kalispell), which generally revised DUI laws, including the doubling of statutory minimum fines for DUIs, harmonizing the aggravated DUI code with other DUI statutes, and establishing a $300 administrative fee for people who refuse to provide a breath sample.

Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom Butler said, “Attorney General Fox has always provided the Patrol with generous support and strong leadership as we partner together to tackle the scourge of impaired driving in Montana. General Fox sets the standard when it comes to advocating for accountability from drivers. His work to strengthen our laws regarding impaired driving keeps us all safer.  Given his long history of prioritizing DUI law reform, it’s not surprising he’s being honored for his efforts.”

Formerly known as The Century Council, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking.  Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility.

A photo from today’s award presentation is available here.

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