'Don't trust your luck'

Drive sober this St. Patrick’s Day, police say


March 13, 2018

This year St. Patrick’s Day falls on the weekend — Saturday, March 17 — and local law enforcement urge everyone to drive sober and plan responsibly.

The Havre Police Department and Montana Highway Patrol will deploy extra officers during the holiday to make sure everyone is driving sober and responsible. The Hill County Sheriff’s Office will have staff on patrol as well.

“In the U.S., one person dies in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes. On St. Patrick’s Day, one of the deadliest holidays on our nations’ roads, this rate increases,” says a HPD press release. “During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday periods, 269 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes.”

Police Chief Gabe Matosich said those who are planning to drink and go out St. Patrick’s Day need to plan ahead for sober transportation.

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher in the U.S. In Montana, those found to be driving drunk can have their license revoked, receive possible jail time and be fined up to $10,000.

“The consequences are more severe for repeated offenders,” the release says.

The public is asked to join in the effort against drunk driving and its consequences. Anyone who suspects someone of driving drunk is asked to call 911 and report them. People are also asked to wear seat belts as it “continues to be the best defense against impaired driving.”

The increased traffic patrols are paid for by the Montana Department of Transportation, as part of the Vision Zero campaign — “zero deaths and zero injuries on Montana roadways.”


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