Sgt. Bryan Slavik with the Great Falls Police Department says, "traditionally the busiest time in the police department is July 1-5". Slavik explains people are celebrating, there is a lot of alcohol flowing, the number of DUIs increases, and people may not be responsible with their fireworks and cause noise violations.
Sgt. Ben Havron with Montana Highway Patrol says, "we deal primarily with impaired driving and with that comes an increase in crashes, and a lot of times the crashes are more serious in nature because of the increased alcohol consumption". Havron reminds us that it only takes one drunk driver to cause a very bad accident.
Driving under the influence can cost lives. Havron says, "with the alcohol consumption you have the increased chance for injuries not just in motor vehicles, but you have people out on the lake and you're dealing with small explosives which can increase your chance for an injury there".
Once you start drinking, your ability to make good choices becomes impaired, so it's best to plan ahead and have a designated driver. Havron suggests calling for a ride, calling a taxi or using public transportation. It's important to have a plan.
Law enforcement also encourages you to report anyone who is putting others or him/herself at risk. Havron says, "anytime you observe someone you believe to be impaired make sure you call the authorities".
Please celebrate responsibly. Havron says, "we expect and want people to celebrate and have a good holiday, we're just trying to save lives".