Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force elected officers and approved by-laws during its first official meeting Wednesday, May 7.
The board of county commissioners approved a resolution that formally established the task force Tuesday, April 29. A group has held organizational meetings since December and has sought more participation.
The task force elected the following people as officers: county commissioner Gary Macdonald, chairman; Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada, vice chair; Mary Vine, who also serves as coordinator for the task force, secretary; and Kahlil Wehbe, treasurer.
The by-laws and work plan were approved.
Both were modeled after other counties.
The work plan must be submitted to the state by June 1. Macdonald said there is a possibility the task force could receive some funding this year.
Macdonald said he expected the county commission to approve the by-laws Tuesday, June 13, which was after press time.
The group must meet a minimum of four times within one year but is likely to meet more frequently.
Montana Department of Transportation has funding available to support the task force.
There was a discussion about current problems with law enforcement jurisdictional issues when a perpetrator of a crime is a tribal member and a victim is not.
A woman who was seriously injured in a crash several years ago that a drunk driver caused said there were little consequences for the driver. She said that driver is a tribal member and she is not.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford said there are jurisdictional issues with Indian Country that face every Indian reservation in the country.
“It’s about helping the people. That’s what it boils down to,” he said of a need to resolve issues.
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force will next meet at the Roosevelt County Community Services Building, 124 Custer St., Wednesday, June 4, at 2 p.m.
For more information about the DUI Task Force, contact Vine at 653-6228.