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Letter

The 2019 Montana Legislature failed to pass legislation addressing several key impaired driving issues that affect your safety. One is that 70% of first-time Montana DUI suspects, or twice the national average, refuse to take a breathalyzer test and then demand costly and unnecessary trials hoping the state will not have adequate evidence to prove their guilt without breathalyzer evidence.

Why do we allow this and needlessly tie the hands of our courts and law enforcement trying to protect us from impaired drivers? Senate Bill 65 would have allowed law enforcement officers to seek a warrant allowing blood to be drawn to determine blood alcohol levels from first time offenders refusing a breathalyzer test. This can already be done for second or more time DUI suspects.

In Missoula County alone about 16 people are killed and nearly 160 people injured every year in crashes involving these impaired drivers. Talk to your state legislators and ask them to help stop the carnage.

For more information on impaired driving in our state, go to zeroduideaths.org and read the “2018 Montana DUI Survey and Analysis.”

Ronald Yates,

former citizen member,

Cascade County

DUI Task Force,

Great Falls

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