Law officers plan tough Griz-Cat DUI enforcement

2012-11-16T06:00:00Z 2012-11-17T13:01:12Z Law officers plan tough Griz-Cat DUI enforcementBy KEILA SZPALLER of the Missoulian
November 16, 2012 6:00 am  • 

Keep the party off the road this weekend.

That’s the word to fans of the Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats from Sgt. Chad Dever of the Montana Highway Patrol.

He said troopers, the Missoula Police Department and Missoula County Sheriff’s Office will be adding patrols starting Friday to keep a watch for drivers who are impaired so they can keep the roads safe for everyone.

“We’ll be on the city streets and in the backroads enforcing the DUI and safety belt laws,” Dever said.

In Montana, he said, 50 percent of fatal crashes involve alcohol. And the Montana Department of Transportation, which funds the extra patrols, notes that highway fatalities are worse this year compared to last year.

“There have been 45 crashes and 49 deaths where alcohol was a factor,” reads an agency fact sheet. “This is an increase of more than 30 percent over last year at this time.”

The city of Missoula also will ramp up enforcement, and it encourages people who plan to drink alcohol to select designated drivers or call Yellow Cab at 543-6644, Green Taxi at 728-8294, or Ucallus at 880-1673; bar patrons also may ask if an establishment is a member of Home Safe Missoula.

The city and Missoula Police Department also remind people to be considerate in their neighborhoods. Forgetting to do so could mean consequences, according to a news release.

“People planning to have house parties should please keep their neighbors in mind,” reads the release from the city. “If neighbors call 9-1-1 about a loud party, responding officers can and will cite and make arrests if appropriate.”


Dever said this is the first year MHP is dispatching a special team of troopers to high-risk events across the state. The Traffic Safety Enforcement Team aims to be highly visible, keep the traveling public safe, and reduce fatal and serious crashes.

“We’re working more nights and aggressively enforcing the DUI laws as opposed to just working high-crash areas throughout a day,” Dever said.

To help people plan ahead, he said MHP wants to get the word out that it will be making many traffic stops. As a professional who responds to harrowing scenes on Montana roads, he said he’d like to deter as many wrecks as possible.

“It’s very frustrating to get on a scene after the fact. So many times, you think, if we only could have prevented this in the first place,” Dever said.

Reporter Keila Szpaller can be reached at @KeilaSzpaller, 523-5262, or on

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. PelosiGalore
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    PelosiGalore - November 17, 2012 1:02 am
  2. Helen mo
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    Helen mo - November 16, 2012 1:01 pm
    Thank you, life and those of my friends and family are far more important than your $100 to Missoula businesses so you can booze it up! You are an imbecile! I only wish this was "the standard" and not just a move by MPD for the griz/cat game!
  3. MontanaTaxPayer
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    MontanaTaxPayer - November 16, 2012 11:12 am
    Yep. To all the businesses in Missoula. You will not receive any money from me on Friday, Saturday, and for that matter Sunday too. I had planned on meeting with some friends after work today and maybe have a beer or two with them. But , I now having recently moved out of and left the grips the Missoula City limits (aka CONTROL FREAKS) Freedom! Yes, I do have to drive, so I will just go home and consume my adult beverage of choice, So Missoula businesses you WILL NOT be getting $100.00 from me.....

  4. sigmorrell
    Report Abuse
    sigmorrell - November 16, 2012 8:29 am
    The state needs every officer we can spare on the road to save lives. But there will still be half a dozen or so Highway Patrol Officers being used as uniformed security for the football coaches This may look official in states where state police officers are used as personal servants for public employees. But here in Montana with our limited personal resources, we need every professional, highly trained officer.

  5. montanamuralist
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    montanamuralist - November 16, 2012 5:20 am
    I have to do some work in Missoula today and should be back home by 5 Friday afternoon, where I will stay for the rest of the weekend. Not worth the risk to be out there in this stuff and the best view of the game is from my living room...
  6. Mtsleep
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    Mtsleep - November 16, 2012 2:03 am
    Yup, tough enforcement followed by weak court penalties...
  7. MiddleFinger
    Report Abuse
    MiddleFinger - November 15, 2012 8:06 pm
    I hope they bother to enforce the cell phone ban as well. Those da mn distracted drivers are way worse than drunks. And texting isn't even a small town lifestyle!

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