Written by The Herald-News
From mid-August through Labor Day, officers of the Fort Peck Tribes Law and Justice Department will increase patrols in an effort to reduce drunk driving deaths.
“Our officers want to see an end to careless decisions that cost lives,” said Police Captain Mike Headdress.
Alcohol was involved in five out of the six crash fatalities on the Fort Peck Reservation from 2009 through 2011. Eight out of every 10 drivers in vehicle crashes reported on the reservation during those three years were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Looking at the three years of most recent data, it’s possible that the majority of 65 crashes that involved alcohol or drugs could have been avoided if the driver had been sober and alert,” emphasized Headdress.
The police department on the Fort Peck Reservation is one of many law enforcement agencies participating in nationwide high-visibility enforcement leading up to the Labor Day holiday. Police officers are taking extra shifts to prevent hazardous driving. Their goal is to get impaired drivers off the road before they hurt themselves or someone else.
“If you know you are going to be driving, alcohol should be off-limits. A few drinks makes you a serious risk to yourself, your passengers and other travelers — plan ahead for a sober driver or don’t get behind the wheel. If you’re not driving, be smart and refuse to ride with a driver who has been drinking alcohol,” Captain Headdress added.
The Montana Highway Patrol, sheriffs’ deputies from Valley, Roosevelt and Richland counties and the Glasgow and Wolf Point police departments are also stepping up patrols during the Labor Day crackdown. Officers will be enforcing other traffic laws as well as watching for impaired drivers.
Support for the traffic safety efforts of Fort Peck Law and Justice is provided by the Safe On All Roads program of the Montana Department of Transportation. The Safe On All Roads program is administered by the Fort Peck Tribes Transportation Department.