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The original item was published from 12/12/2022 5:47:58 PM to 1/3/2023 12:00:04 AM.

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News Highlights (General)

Posted on: December 12, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Law Enforcement Increasing Patrols for the Holiday Season

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Montanans: Celebrate the Holidays Responsibly by Planning for a Sober Ride Home 

Montana Law Enforcement increasing patrols in Kalispell for the holiday season. 
Residents encouraged to plan for a sober ride home.

As the holiday season kicks off, Kalispell law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) are encouraging Montanans to plan for a sober ride home before celebrating. The period between December 15th and January 1st has a high concentration of impaired driving crashes and fatalities.  Law enforcement partners across the state will be increasing patrols and making DUI arrests as part of the effort to help Montanans get home safely. Under the Vision Zero goal, Kalispell Police, MHP and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) are committed to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on Montana’s roadways during the busy holiday season. 

Montana law ensures that if drivers have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, they could be arrested and face a DUI charge and other serious consequences, including having their driver’s license revoked, being required to take mandatory classes, and receiving possible jail time and up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees.

“If you’re drinking during the holiday season, make a plan for a safe ride home,” said Captain Jordan Venezio of the Kalispell Police Department. “Before you even start drinking or head out for a celebration, make and commit to a plan.   Designate one of your friends or family members as a sober driver, arrange for a rideshare service/cab/public transportation, or coordinate with a friend or family member to give you a sober ride home. If you see your friends have been drinking, have their back and help them get home safely, too. We’re in this together.”

Why is Montana law enforcement on high alert during the holiday season? These are Montana’s sobering statistics:

  • Montana has one of the highest fatality rates in the nation for the number of deaths caused by alcohol -impaired drivers per vehicle mile traveled
  • In Montana 66% of all fatalities in 2020 involved an impaired driver (up from 58% in 2019) 

“Please celebrate responsibly this holiday season. Have fun, but don’t drive impaired,” said Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Steve Lavin. “We’ll be increasing patrols throughout the holidays to make sure Montanans get home safe so they can spend time with their friends and family. Do your part and plan ahead or call for a sober ride home if you’ve been drinking. Together we can keep our community safe.”

Montana Department of Transportation — Vision Zero
 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    

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