Posted: Sep 1, 2012 5:50 PM by David Jay
Updated: Sep 1, 2012 10:53 PM
BILLINGS - Nationwide, more than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies support a campaign called "Drive Sober or Get pulled over."
The Montana Highway Patrol, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office and the Billings Police Department have all increased patrols for the Labor Day weekend.
The increase is part of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign. While exact numbers are not disclosed, the NHTSA says law enforcement agencies have redoubled their efforts.
"The roads are full so we want people to be aware," said Trooper Buck O'Neill of the Montana Highway Patrol. "Be careful and we're out there looking to make sure we can help them do that."
"We've added DUI patrols every day through this holiday weekend," said Sergeant Dave Muhlbeier of the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office.
Public Service Announcements make up part of the agency's campaign.
"repetition," said O'Neil. "Hearing it over and over again on the news and on tv, careful we're out there, you know it might make people think twice."
People may also drive more carefully just knowing about the extra patrols.
"It's an analogy when the teacher's in the room, the students are going to behave," said Muhlbeier. "We like to be more visible."
"When we're stepping up enforcement on weekends like this and they see our vehicles at a stoplight or driving by, that kind of kicks back in their memory that we better be careful," O'Neill said. "What we do every day is try to make sure everybody is driving sober safely."
"We want people from this community to be able to enjoy themselves and not worry about these other factors," Muhlbeier said. "That's why we're here. This is what we do."
The Billings Police Department also has increased its presence and is part of the national effort that started on August 17 and runs through September 7.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says more than 10,000 died in DUI crashes in 2010.