20 Days of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over For Labor Day Holiday [YouTube]
The Missoula Police Department, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Highway Patrol in the Missoula area will ramp up their enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on drunk driving.
The 20-day, high-visibility campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to curb impaired driving and save lives. From Aug. 21 to Sept. 7 (Labor Day),Missoula police will join law enforcement partners nationwide in showing zero tolerance for drunk driving.
Sergeant Greg Amundsen said the 20 day program is necessary as the end of summer approaches.
"A lot of people travel around Labor Day, and they don't just travel over the weekend," said Sergeant Amundsen. "A lot of people sort of make it a family vacation and depending on where you live, you can kind of sneak that vacation in before school starts."
Amundsen said officers will be testing for both alcohol and drugs.
"The city police, sheriff's department and highway patrol have access to drug recognition experts that can come over and run a person through a battery of tests and determine with a very high degree of accuracy what drugs that person has been using," he said.
Amundsen said there are a few very simple pieces of advice to keep from being stopped and arrested for distracted driving this Labor Day.
"The number one plan, I always say, is if you're planning on drinking somewhere, have a friend drop you off or take public transportation," he said. "People often make mistakes after they've consumed alcohol. They might think think they're OK, or they might not care. that's why they call it driving impaired, it means you make bad decisions after you put yourself in that condition."
Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving.