This Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s one of Montana’s most high-spirited celebrations. So law enforcement is ramping up patrols.
Butte will be the center of attention. That means a stepped level of impaired driving enforcement.
Captain Keith Edgell is with Montana Highway Patrol. He says they’re bringing in up to 20 additional troopers to the Butte area. ”We’re bringing in our traffic enforcement team, which is a six-man unit to Butte as well. In addition they usually pull in four or five additional people from other districts to help with St. Patrick’s Day in Butte.”
Money to cover the costs for the increased patrols comes from the Montana Department of Transportation. Those dollars come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It’s not just M-H-P out looking for impaired drivers, local police and county sheriffs throughout the state will increase patrols.
Edgell says “we realize people will be out and will enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and have a good time. We just ask to have a designated driver and wear your seatbelt.”
The Montana Department of Transportation reports in the last decade, 73 percent of fatalities and serious injuries involved either driver impairment or not properly wearing a seatbelt.