4 Honored for DUI Crackdowns - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

4 Honored for DUI Crackdowns

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GREAT FALLS - Montana law enforcement has been working hard to fight driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Tuesday, the Cascade County DUI Task Force honored four members of the law enforcement community for their contributions in keeping the roads safe from impaired drivers.

Montana is among the top in the united states in several categories, but there is one law enforcement is not proud of.

Deputy Sheriff Steve Brunk of the Cascade County Sheriff's Office said "if you go back to 1982 when they started keeping statistics of DUI related alcohol fatalities, Montana has been in the top five every year and sometimes as high as number one in alcohol related traffic fatalities."

Last year, 80 Montanan's died from alcohol related crashes, and law enforcement has been working to combat it for decades.

Brunk said "as a law enforcement officer I have to look at the entire situation and say 'what can I do?' What's the hot button topic in my community, and in the whole state of Montana, DUI enforcement is extremely important."

Tuesday afternoon, four members of law enforcement in Cascade County were honored for doing their part in being the solution.

Of Brunk's approach, "I'm one guy in a car, and the one thing I can do is make these arrests, get them into the system, hopefully get these guys help so we don't have repeat offenders. I'd like to as a single officer is do what I can, make these arrests on a nightly basis."

Senior Police Officer Frank Torres of the Great Falls Police Department said of his honor, "I'm very humbled by it. I work with a great team. Great Falls Police does a lot and I feel privileged that I was recognized for it."

Torres initiated 15 DUI arrests in 2013, but he feels he couldn't do it on his own.

Torres said "I believe that's just a small portion. I did a little bit with everyone in the community assisting with my job. MHP, county, and citizens who call in when they see a drunk driver, I think everybody contributed."

Deputy Brunk feels while community should work together, he believes a one step at a time approach works best saying you must "make people accountable and hope that just by chipping away at the problem, just chipping away. If myself and all other deputies and police officers can just push hard and chip away at this problem maybe, hopefully in the next ten years we will have a dramatic decrease in our alcohol related fatalities."

The four honorees were Brunk, Torres, Officer Kenny Lamere of Adult Probation and Parole, and Trooper Don Lee of the Montana Highway Patrol. Lee was unable to attend due to training and prior commitments.
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