Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish blood or only Irish for the day, if holiday plans include alcohol get a cab, call a friend or designate a sober driver. Local law enforcement personnel will be looking for impaired drivers during the holiday weekend. Area law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol will add extra patrols during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend, Friday through Sunday according to a news release. “We know this is going to be a busy weekend with many activities planned for the Havre area. Those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day need to know the Havre Police Department will have additional officers on patrol,” Havre Chief of Police Mike Barthel said. “We are trying to keep people from getting hurt or worse killed. I know the Tavern Association has been busy putting up posters to remind folks to get a cab, call a friend, or have a designated driver. Free mugs with free soda re-fills are available for the designated Driver at all the bars. Have fun, but be safe and buckle those seat belts.” The added patrols are funded by a grant from the Montana Department of Transportation’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program. The STEP program is designed to give law enforcement additional resources to focus on traffic safety, especially deterring impaired drivers and encouraging the use of seat belts. In addition to added law enforcement patrols in the Havre area, the Montana Highway Patrol will assist with added patrols to focus on those who may be traveling to visit family and friends over the holiday weekend. “We certainly want people to have a good time on St. Patrick’s Day, but we’ll have some extra troopers on the roads over the weekend,” said Col. Paul Grimstad of the Montana Highway Patrol. “We don’t want anyone’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend to end in tragedy.” According to Jim Lynch, director of MDT, improving safety on Montana roads takes everyone’s help. “We hope people will look out for their friends and family,” Lynch said. “Don’t drive if you will be drinking, and don’t let anyone who has been drinking get behind the wheel. And of course, always buckle up.” Lynch encouraged reporting suspected impaired drivers to authorities by calling 911.