Drunk driving continues to be a major cause of auto accidents on Montana roads. Although public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has increased in recent years, some drivers are still not getting the message. A Helena woman is facing criminal charges after she allegedly caused a three-vehicle car accident that resulted in injuries to herself and three other people.
A serious auto accident can devastate families and change survivors' lives forever. A tragic example of this is a fatal car accident that happened around 7:30 on a Monday morning in Bozeman. At an hour when people are heading to work and dropping their kids off at school, a 44-year-old woman died and two others were injured, including the woman's seven-year-old son.
The middle of the night can be a dangerous time on Montana roads. Too many drivers are impaired by fatigue or intoxication during those hours. Whether these factors were behind a car accident that killed three young men on Highway 87 in Cascade County recently is not known at this time. But the accident happened sometime around 3 a.m., so it is a real possibility.
Aggressive drivers are more than just obnoxious; their behavior behind the wheel is downright dangerous. Recently, a witness reported that a 21-year-old man from Arlee, Montana was driving aggressively just before he was involved in a car accident that killed a woman on Evaro Hill. Worse yet, there is a possibility the man was also distracted: the witness also said the man was texting and driving before the crash.
A tragic accident on the Crow Reservation last year has resulted in a murder conviction for one of the drivers involved. The 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to second degree murder in a case arising out of the accident in which four people died. The drunk driving accident serves as a stark reminder of the deadly consequences of drinking and driving.
Our nation's oil fields, in Montana and elsewhere, are responsible for a lot of well-paying jobs. But those jobs come at a price. Oil fields can be dangerous places, and those who work in them face a risk of injury, or even death, not found in many other occupations. Recently a 49-year-old man from Carlsbad, New Mexico became the latest worker to die in an oil field accident in that state.
The State of Montana takes drunk driving very seriously. Under state law, drunk drivers are held criminally and civilly responsible for any injuries or deaths they cause in a car accident. In addition, Montana law provides that a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol to a person who is already visibly intoxicated can be held liable for damages in a civil lawsuit, if the intoxicated person injures or kills someone in a drunk driving accident. A lawsuit filed recently in Missoula County District Court seeks to hold a Missoula bar liable under this law, known as the Dram Shop Act.