Injuries and deaths resulting from people operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs are one of the most preventable tragedies in our society today.
This is unacceptable. Although drinking and driving is a societal problem, law enforcement agencies are often the last line of defense when it comes to preventing the worst from happening. We, however, cannot do it alone. It is not possible to catch every driver under the influence who may be on the road at any given moment. The Montana Legislature has toughened DUI laws over the years, which has helped to reduce the number of first-time and repeat offenders. Cultural awareness of the problem has also helped. Organizations such the Flathead County DUI Task Force, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Flathead CARE and STOP Underage Drinking in the Flathead; have helped to spread the word about lives ended too soon due to someone’s decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office works with students in schools to understand the consequences of making bad decisions, including drinking and driving.
The enforcement of DUI laws is, of course, imperative and it is a responsibility that our agency takes very seriously. The deputies are dedicatedto the enforcement of these laws, and unfortunately, they stay very busy.
In 2011, 874 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Flathead County.