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Drive sober, extra patrols planned

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RONAN — The Ronan Police Department will be actively searching for impaired drivers during the holiday season. From Dec. 16 through Jan. 2, 2016, the Montana Highway Patrol and law enforcement across the state will add extra patrols during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national crackdown. The Ronan Police Department is among those adding patrols. 

The troopers of the Safety Enforcement Traffic Team (SETT), specializing in high-risk impaired driving enforcement, will also be deployed in the Kalispell area during this period. 

“We want people to enjoy the holidays and that also means we need to protect holiday travelers from dangerous drivers. If you plan to drink, then think ahead and plan a safe and sober ride and expect your family and friends to drive sober too,” said Ronan Police Department Chief Ken Weaver.

DUI arrests are part of an ongoing effort to reduce deadly drinking and driving in the state. In the last decade impaired drivers were involved in nearly 50 percent of all fatal crashes. 

“It’s a serious task to get impaired drivers off the road. We work hard to prevent the tragedies that result from drinking and driving, but we can’t do it alone,” Chief Weaver said. 

The Montana Department of Transportation and the Ronan Police Department are asking drivers and members of the public to do their part to prevent impaired driving. Here are some tips this holiday season:

—Alcohol can enhance the side effects of medication. Avoid mixing alcohol with any medications, and ask your doctor about possible consequences if you do. 

—If you plan to drink at a party, bar or restaurant, have a sober friend do the driving, or find another alternative. 

—Expect your friends and family to have a sober driver and let them know it. 

—Provide safe transportation for your party guests — as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

—Call 911 to report an impaired driver.

—Buckle up every person, every trip, and every time. 

Diligent enforcement of the state’s traffic laws is critical to Montana’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate roadway deaths and serious injuries. Law enforcement agencies participating in extra patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation as one of several strategic partnerships to reduce impaired driving in the state. For more information, visit or #VisionZeroMT. Contact Charity Watt, Montana Department of Transportation 406-444-3439,

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