Oct 18, 2011 10:16 AM by Chet Layman - KBZK
BOZEMAN- This is National Teen Driver Safety Week and statistics prove that driving under the influence, driving distracted, or not wearing seat belts are all part of life behind the wheel for many teens. Unfortunately, the numbers also prove that many teens are permanently injured or killed by these behaviors.
The state of Montana saw the third highest number of alcohol-impaired fatalities in the nation for drivers under the age of 21 in 2009 and 581 people died on Montana's highways in the five years ending 2009. To put those numbers in the perspective, that would be the 140th largest community in Montana, a town larger than Drummond or Twin Bridges,
"Any alcohol for anybody is not a good thing. However, when you do have teenagers who aren't supposed to be drinking. When they take that opportunity to drink they don't control what they are doing, they don't pay attention to how much they are drinking and they get behind the wheel of a car. It takes very little alcohol to being to impair anybody's ability to drive, let alone a teenagers," Travis Munter with the Bozeman Police Department explained.
Law enforcement officials say that alcohol is involved in too many fatalities, and in Montana account for about half of all trafic deaths.
"The Montana law for teens is .02, which is basically any detectable amount of alchol in the system...about half of the fatalities in Montana are a result of somebody who has traceable amount of alcohol in their system," Munter pointed out.