Law Enforcement Warns Drivers to Plan Ahead This 4th of July
Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food and fireworks, but too often alcohol turns the party into a tragedy, making this iconic holiday one of the most deadly times of the year on the nation’s roads.
That’s why local law enforcement agencies, along with the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), are stepping up their presence throughout the state to protect public safety by catching and arresting impaired drivers. In addition, law enforcement agencies are appealing to the public to do their part. Anyone who observes a suspected impaired driver is urged to call 9-1-1 or 1-855-MHP-3777 right away.
“Local police and the Highway Patrol will be out in force throughout the holiday period, on the lookout for motorists who have had too much alcohol to be behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Colonel Kenton Hickethier, Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol. “Police will have zero tolerance for people who put themselves and others at risk by drinking and driving this Independence Day.”
Statistically in Montana, over the two weeks surrounding the 4th of July holiday, 360 people will be injured in car crashes. While these are not all directly tied to impaired driving, it is a good reminder to avoid risky behavior in vehicles.
“I also want to remind everyone that Montana has a seat belt law, so wear your safety belt, since it is the best protection against the unpredictable actions of an impaired driver,” added Colonel Hickethier.
MDT recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:
Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
Anyone who is impaired should: use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
Anyone who sees a drunk driver on the road, should not hesitate to call 9-1-1 or 1-855-MHP-3777;
And remember, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” If someone is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
For interesting videos and more safety-related information, please access the Montana Department of Transportation’s website http://www.plan2live.mt.gov.