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Increased patrols expected for holiday weekend

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GALLATIN COUNTY – Fourth of July and the celebration of our country’s independence brings many things to mind—family, friends, food, and fireworks. But all too often, alcohol and driving are added to the mix with tragic results. Law enforcement is increasing patrols on the roads in all areas of Gallatin County, 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 percent of all fatal crashes and 45 percent of all serious injury crashes in Montana occurred between June and September—a period of time known nationally as the “100 Deadliest Days.” Historically, the 100 Deadliest Days in Montana has represented 50 percent of the annual roadway fatalities involving an impaired driver.

As law enforcement leaders we encourage 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.

This Fourth of July celebrate your freedom by making the right choice. If you choose to drink, plan for a safe, sober ride. Do your 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.

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