HELENA – Supporters of tougher drunk and drugged driving laws gathered on the steps of the State Capitol on Tuesday morning.
The rally included members from three Montana DUI Task Forces, Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Attorney General Tim Fox.
Supporters offered recommendations on ways to reducing DUI’s including initiating and funding DUI checkpoints. Other suggestions included requiring ignition interlocks or close monitoring of first time DUI offenders as well as the ability for citizens to track court cases involving misdemeanor DUI’s.
Members of DUI Law Committee are suggesting allowing police to obtain an electronic warrant for blood sample when first-time offenders refuse a breathalyzer test. They also suggested that increasing the state beer tax from 1.4¢ per 12 oz. can to 5¢ could fund enforcement efforts.
“I’m convinced that Montanans know we have a problem, but don’t really realize how bad the problem is, and the solutions that are quite doable. We really want to change the culture of drinking and driving in Montana,” said DUI Law Committee Chairman Ronald Yates.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has repeatedly ranked Montana among the worst in the nation for efforts to reduce driving under the influence.
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— story by Mercedies Pruneda – MTN News