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Extra Missoula patrols take aim at drunk driving - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Extra Missoula patrols take aim at drunk driving

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The Missoula Police Department, Missoula county Sheriff's Office and the Montana Highway Patrol have added extra patrols until Jan. 1. (MTN News file photo) The Missoula Police Department, Missoula county Sheriff's Office and the Montana Highway Patrol have added extra patrols until Jan. 1. (MTN News file photo)

MISSOULA - Police in Missoula have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Law enforcement stresses that everyone should make sure to have a sober ride home, adding that "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving." The campaign runs through Jan.1.

"The holidays should be a time for celebrations and for making memories, not a time of nightmares for families,” said Missoula Police Sergeant Greg Amundsen. “Unfortunately, alcohol at many holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roadways. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. If you feel buzzed, you are already drunk.”

The NHTSA reports 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2016, and 28% of those deaths happened in crashes where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of .08.

“We want to keep our roads safe this holiday season and help people understand that the only time they should be behind the wheel is when they are sober,” said Sergeant Amundsen.  “Alcohol affects people differently, and you do not have to be feeling or acting drunk to be too impaired to drive.”

Drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if your holiday celebration will include alcohol. The alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, or of other pedestrians or drivers and passengers nearby.

The Missoula Police Department, Montana Highway Patrol, Missoula County Sheriff’s Department all have extra patrols on the roads focused on impaired driving.


The Missoula Police Department offers the following tips to stay safe on the roads:

  • First: Plan ahead. You know whether you’ll attend a party. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends are relying on you.
  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.=
  • Missoula’s safe ride options include Yellow Cab, Green Taxi, Mountain Line (last route is 9:50 P.M.) or UBER ride service.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program, Home Free Missoula.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 to report them.
  • See someone who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone—they’ll thank you later.
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