Montana Department of Transportation warns of the misuse of dyed diesel

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 12:05:25-04

GREAT FALLS — The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has been setting up checkpoints within the past week to check commercial vehicles for the misuse of dyed fuels.

MDT does this twice a year, but with the gas prices being so high, there is a fear that this time around there may be more offenders than usual.

MDT spokesperson Tracy Halubka says that typically less than 1% of commercial drivers are found with dyed fuel in their gas tanks, but with diesel prices so high, it’s possible that this time around may be different.

“It's certainly a fear that commercial drivers may be taking advantage of non-taxable fuel, however, I would think that’s why it’s important for people to know the repercussions of what could happen if that’s found,” said Halubka.

From the MDT website:

Dyed diesel fuel is regular diesel fuel that has red dye added to it. This is done to identify the fuel as non-taxed and to help enforcement officials easily identify it. Dyed diesel is for off-road use only. Examples include farm equipment and home heating. Using untaxed fuel (dyed diesel) in a licensed vehicle violates Montana's law and reduces the money available to build and maintain Montana state highways.

Repercussions can include a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense, and there are even some warranties that will cancel your policy if you are in violation.