Increased patrols for holiday weekend

| June 30, 2020 2:27 PM

Law enforcement is increasing patrols on the roads in Whitefish, along with the Montana Highway Patrol statewide, around the Fourth of July holiday to remind motorists to drive sober or get pulled over.

Summer is the deadliest time of year for motor vehicle crashes, over the last decade 48% of all fatal crashes and 45% of all serious injury crashes in Montana occurred between June and September — the period of time known nationally as the “100 Deadliest Days.” Historically, the 100 Deadliest Days in Montana has represented 50% of the annual roadway fatalities involving an impaired driver.

“There is no excuse for driving while impaired,” said Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial. “It’s every driver’s responsibility to be sober and take traffic safety seriously — for themselves, their friends and family, and everyone else on the road.”

Dial encourages everyone to make a responsible plan before the Fourth of July celebrations begin; whether that means having a designated driver, calling a cab, ordering a ride share or offering a sober ride to others if you’re not drinking.

It is illegal to drive in Montana with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, and the consequences include a DUI charge, having your driver’s license revoked, mandatory classes, possible jail time, and up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees. Unfortunately, in the event of an impaired driving crash, the cost can be serious injury or even death.

The Montana Department of Transportation asks everyone to do their part to help Montana reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on our roads — by always driving sober, buckling up and calling 911 to report suspected impaired driving.

For more information about Vision Zero, contact Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, (406) 444- 7417,