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Will drunk driving increase in Montana this summer?

Car accident attorney Billings, Montana

AAA has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekend the "100 Deadliest Days" for a reason. More fatal crashes involving drunk drivers tend to happen during the summer months.

The Montana Highway Patrol reports that the overall number of crashes from June 1-16 fell by 11.29 percent in comparison to the same period in 2019 and 2018. Crashes involving alcohol have gone up 12.5 percent and fatalities by 25 percent.

There are other indicators that Montana could see a rise in drunk driving crashes as we move into the summer. Here are the factors you should be aware of.

The loosening of COVID-19 restrictions

Montana is currently in Phase 2 of its reopening plan in which bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos can operate at 75 percent capacity. The Governors Highway Safety Association warns that we could see an upsurge in drunk driving as more people visit establishments where alcohol is served.

In addition, many people who haven't traveled much (or at all) over the last few months may begin driving again. This can lead to an increase in traffic congestion and motorists with rusty driving skills.

4th of July ranked the worst holiday for drunk driving

The 4th of July is just around the corner. That means barbecuing, congregating with friends and family, fireworks and drinking. ValuePenguin has ranked 4th of July the worst holiday for drunk driving fatalities, with an average of 42.4 deaths per day.

MoneyWise ranked the 4th of July No. 2 for 2020's most dangerous holidays for driving. There is a 134 percent greater risk for encountering a drunk driver than on the average day. In fact, the week of 4th of July is considered the most dangerous week of the year.

Recognizing the dangers of drunk driving

Drunk driving is a leading cause of traffic fatalities. In 2018, it resulted in more than 10,000 traffic fatalities across the United States and 79 in Montana.

Far too often, drunk drivers think they can get home safely. Driving requires full attentiveness and coordination. When someone is impaired by alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent, they often experience:

  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment and perception
  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced information processing

Even when drivers are within the BAC limit (below 0.08 percent), impairment can still happen. At BAC levels of 0.02 percent and 0.05 percent, drivers can experience muscle relaxation, decline in visual function, lowered alertness and some impaired judgment.

Attorney serving injured motorists throughout Billings

Braukmann Law, PLLC urges everyone to have a safe and fun summer. Should you or a loved one be injured in a crash with a drunk driver, we can help you get the medical care and compensation you deserve.

We offer free case consultations to clients in the Billings area. To get started, contact us online or call us at (406) 606-1650.

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