MISSOULA — It is an issue that experts believe will increase as the holidays' approach — Driving Under the Influence.
Justin Thompson — president and co-founder of Think Twice, a DUI prevention company that promotes zero tolerance behind the wheel — says the use of single-use breathalyzers in drinking establishments has the ability to save lives, especially around the holidays.
"There is an increase during the holidays as people take to home parties, gatherings, dinners, and festivities all throughout the holiday season. Many people ought to drive when they should be opting to Uber call a friend take a taxi car proof or designate a hero as we say, to be sober and get everybody home safely." - Think Twice president Justin Thompson
There are 20 establishments in Missoula and Granite counties that have partnered with the company to be proactive instead of reactive. Some Missoula breweries — including Conflux and Cranky Sam — have adapted the breathalyzers sold by Think Twice.
"And we got on board because we thought that it would be a great way to help promote responsible drinking and just kind of increase the communication about drunk driving," said Cranky Sam Public House owner Jennifer Heggen.
“At Conflux we support having fun and being a responsible member of the Missoula community. Providing these tests is an easy way to support drinking responsibly," Conflux owner Meghan Casqueria noted.
There are multiple signs posted throughout the bathrooms in the establishments that say "Think twice! Better you know before you go." Additionally, people can purchase one of the single-use breathalyzers to do exactly that at the bar.
Both breweries have seen success with the breathalyzers. When MTN News stopped by Conflux, they were sold out, with more on the way. Meanwhile, at Cranky Sam’s, they have seen an increase in the number of people who purchase them.
"We've had a lot of people buy them in a lot of different aspects. We've had groups come in and buy them. We've had parents come in and buy them to give to their children just as a safety check on their own. But also just like a girlfriend, maybe I've seen worried about her friend driving home. She bought one for her friends so that they could have this like, more candid discussion about whether she should or shouldn't be driving." - Cranky Sam Public House owner Jennifer Heggen