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Montana Department of Transportation encourages sober driving

The holiday season should be a time of relaxation and family togetherness. Unfortunately, December is one of the worst months in Montana for drunk driving accidents. For those who lose a loved one in a car accident caused by a drunk driver over the holiday season, future holidays will probably never be the same.

In an effort to combat impaired driving over the holidays, the Montana Department of Transportation is undertaking a campaign to ask Montanans to do everything they can to prevent another person from driving drunk. The campaign urges state residents to be the "jaws of life" to convince others not to drive impaired, and to avoid needing the real "jaws of life" to free them from their vehicles after a wreck.

Using TV commercials, internet radio ads, social networking videos and billboards, the campaign emphasizes that there are many things a person can do to prevent a friend or family member from driving drunk. A person can call a cab for a friend who's had too much to drink, be a designated driver, or just remind them of the consequences of their decisions.

Drunk drivers face serious criminal consequences for their actions. If someone is injured or killed by their negligence, the consequences are far more severe. In addition, a drunk driver can be held responsible in a civil lawsuit brought by a victim or their family. They can be liable for damages including medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Let's hope the MDT campaign has some effect, and that this holiday season sees a reduction in drunk driving deaths and injuries. That would be something all Montanans could be proud of.

Source: The Roundup, "Montana Department of Transportation Urges Montanans to be the "Jaws of Life" and Stop Impaired Driving," Dec. 12, 2012

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