Make the Right Choice – Celebrate the End of Summer with a Sober Ride
Increased Patrols in Kalispell from August 19 to September 7
August 25, 2020, Kalispell, Mont. –Despite daily life being different this year, one thing that hasn’t changed is our desire to enjoy the summer season with family and friends. Historically, Labor Day Weekend is a popular travel time with increased traffic on the roads, and this year is anticipated to be no exception as people drive instead of fly and Montanans stay to enjoy our outdoor recreation opportunities rather than travel out-of-state. It is more important than ever to drive safely and plan for a sober ride. Kalispell law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol will be watching for impaired driving through the Labor Day Weekend, as part of the National Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization.
“We understand that everyone wants to enjoy this three-day weekend,” said Jordan Venezio, Patrol Lieutenant. “But we want you to do it responsibly. Beyond risking your personal freedom and safety, driving impaired is a choice that puts other lives in danger. That’s why we are increasing patrols during the extended holiday period of mid-August to early September, to make sure no one’s summer ends with injury or even worse, death. That’s our commitment to every Montanan.”
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), show that 38% of all traffic fatalities during the Labor Day holiday period in 2018 involved a drunk driver. In Montana, over the last ten years (2010-2019), there have been 110 fatalities within the two-week period up to and including Labor Day weekend. Drivers impaired by alcohol (BAC>=0.080) were involved in 36 percent of these.
Beyond the risk of injury or death, choosing to drive impaired in Montana has serious and costly consequences. It can result in:
- Receiving a DUI.
- Having your license revoked.
- Possible jail time.
- Up to 10,000 in fines.
Montanans are encouraged to take part in this effort by reporting any suspected impaired drivers to local law enforcement by calling 911 and helping to ensure all friends and family have secured sober transportation. Wearing your seat belt continues to be the best defense in the event of a motor vehicle crash, so buckle up every trip, every time, and remind other passengers in the vehicle to do the same.
This is a Vision Zero message from the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ii] MDT Crash Data