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Montanans: Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Responsibly By Planning For A Sober Ride Home

Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) are encouraging Montanans to plan for a sober ride home before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrations and festivities at bars and restaurants are common for St. Patrick’s Day, and celebrations may happen during the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Law enforcement partners across the state will be increasing patrols and making DUI arrests to help all Montanans get home safely. Under the Vision Zero goal, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, MHP, and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) are committed to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on Montana’s roadways during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Montana law ensures that if drivers have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher could be arrested and face a DUI charge and other serious consequences. This can include 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.

“Montanans take St. Patrick’s Day seriously,” said Undersheriff Chris Richter. “But we all need to take the safety of our community seriously, too. Before you even start drinking or head out for a celebration, make and commit to a plan. Choose one of your friends or family members as a sober driver and arrange for them to give you a 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 increasing patrols during St. Patrick’s Day? 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 percent of all fatalities in 2020 involved an impaired driver (up from 58 percent in 2019).

“Please celebrate responsibly during St. Patrick’s Day. Have fun and don’t drive impaired,” said MHP Colonel Steve Lavin. “We’ll be increasing patrols during St. Patrick’s Day weekend to make sure Montanans get home safe. 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.


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