Posted: Dec 14, 2012 11:56 AM by John Sherer
Updated: Dec 14, 2012 11:58 AM
The Bozeman Police Department, Gallatin County Sheriff's Department and the Montana Highway Patrol are stepping up patrols looking for drunk drivers, through January 1st.
"We'll be concentrating on keeping impaired drivers off the road, deterring speeding and encouraging the proper use of safety belts and child restraints," said Sheriff Brian Gootkin.
The legal limit for drunk driving in Montana is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08. That's when a DUI charge would be issued, but Sheriff Gootkin says that any amount of alcohol can affect a driver's ability to operate a vehicle.
"This is a time of year with many parties and lots of merriment, but there is nothing to celebrate if you get a DUI, crash your vehicle, or injure or kill someone," said Bozeman Police Department Lieutenant David McManis.
There's also a warning about use of drugs while driving. "Buzzed driving is drunk driving, and someone who shows impairment below .08 BAC can still be charged with a DUI," said Sheriff Gootkin. "The only sure way to avoid a DUI and hurting yourself or someone else in a drunk driving collision is to NOT get behind the wheel if you have been drinking."
Tips and tools for planning a safe ride home, in addition to Myth Crasher videos demonstrating a light-hearted approach to the serious topic of stopping impaired driving, can be found at plan2live.mt.gov, along with these reminders:
Designate a driver. Before the fun begins, text friends to know who will be the sober driver.
• Arrange for a pick up. The designated driver doesn't have to be at the party.
• Keep ride options on speed dial. Program the number for a taxi, friend, neighbor and/or parent, so they're ready at a push of a button.
• Call a taxi or ride home program. Services listed at plan2live.mt.gov.
• Plan your own ride program. If hosting a party, have a plan with taxis or designated drivers to get guests home safely.
• Plan to spend the night. Crashing on a couch is better than crashing a car.
• Know your limit. Using a blood alcohol calculator can provide a general idea of blood alcohol levels. But remember blood alcohol content will still rise after a drink has been consumed, and buzzed driving is drunk driving and can be charged as a DUI.
"We want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season with friends and family," said Sheriff Gootkin. "Please remind loved ones to buckle up and do everything possible to stop someone from driving impaired."