This Labor Day: Drinking and Driving Will Cost You Increased Patrols Across the State
August 30, 2018, Helena, Mont. – This Labor Day, increased patrols are being deployed across the state of Montana to crack down on impaired driving. Montana law enforcement, along with the Montana Highway Patrol are taking part in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from Aug. 15 through the Labor Day Weekend.
A holiday once solely synonymous with the last few days of summer now marks one of the deadliest times of year on roadways. During the 2016 Labor Day weekend, 433 crash fatalities occurred nationwide. Of these crash fatalities, 43 percent of them involved drivers who had been drinking.[i]
“The request is simple: Don’t drink and drive,” said Colonel Tom Butler of Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol. “We’re not asking citizens to abstain from drinking altogether, we’re simply requesting that they take a few minutes to make a plan – if you’re going to drink, arrange for a sober ride.”
Though Montana has seen a slow decline in serious injuries due to impaired driving over the past three years,[ii] at 61 percent, the state continues to have one of the highest fatality rates in the nation for the number of deaths caused by impaired drivers.[iii]
“The trend is moving in a positive direction, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Mike Tooley, director of the Montana Department of Transportation. “Our goal is to have zero fatalities. And that means zero drunk driving.”
Before you head out this Labor Day weekend, remember: Drive sober or get pulled over. In Montana, if you are caught while driving impaired, it will cost you. Consequences include: receiving a DUI, having your license revoked, possible jail time, and up to $10,000 in fines.[iv] To save yourself a long night and possibly your life, be sure to arrange for a sober ride, report any suspected drunk drivers on the road, and always wear your seat belt, as it continues to be the best defense against impaired drivers.
Increased traffic safety patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement, engineering, emergency medical services, and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-7417 or [email protected]