For Immediate Release

Increased Law Enforcement on Patrol During the Holiday Season

Celebrate Safely– Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Now through the New Year

Gallatin County, Montana, December 10, 2018 – Increased law enforcement patrols in all areas of Gallatin County will begin during the weeks leading up to Christmas and lasting over the New Year to keep Montana’s roads free of impaired drivers. All of the local law enforcement agencies will be working together to encourage all drivers to drive sober this holiday or find a sober ride.

We want everyone to know: There is zero tolerance for impaired drivers in Gallatin County and Montana.  We would like to ask everyone to “Please, plan ahead, if you plan to drink, have sober transportation already organized for a safe trip home. If you do not plan on drink during the holidays, consider being designated driver to friends and loved ones. Just think of the lives you could save.

More celebrations happen this time of year than any other as families and friends travel to spend time with each other. Nationally, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017. In Montana, one tenth of the year’s impaired driving crashes happen in December. 

Montanans have successfully decreased the number of alcohol-related incidents around the holidays over the last two years. We know that we can reduce that number to zero if everyone does their part.

Consequences of impaired driving include a DUI, having your license revoked, possible jail time, and up to $10,000 in fines.

Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, Uber, or Lyft prior to leaving home so you are prepared. Designate a sober driver. Ask someone to call you a ride. If you see a suspected impaired driver, report it by calling 911. 

Respectfully wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season,

Chief E. J. Clark Jr., Belgrade Police Department                                                           Chief Steve Crawford, Bozeman Police Department                                                       Sheriff Brian Gootkin – Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office                                               Chief Dennis Hengel, Manhattan Police Department                                              Chief Scott Newell, West Yellowstone Police Department                                            Chief Frank Parrish, Montana State University Police Department                         Chief Bill Dove, Bozeman/Yellowstone Airport Public Safety                                     Captain Mark Wilfore, Montana Highway Patrol – District 7 Commander

This is a Vision Zero Message from the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, (406) 444-7417 or jakenny@mt.gov

[1] https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/drive-sober-or-get-pulled-over/holiday-season

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office deputies participating in Shop with a Cop

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with area law enforcement for the annual Shop with a Cop event, taking place in Bozeman on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Eleven members of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, including Sheriff Brian Gootkin, will be joined by officers from the Bozeman, Manhattan and Montana State University police departments to take kids shopping at Target.

Each kid receives $75 to buy presents for their families. The child’s parents also get $25 to buy gifts for the participating children as well.

After the deputies and officers are done shopping, they will gives the kids tours of their patrol cars. They will then drive to Bozeman City Hall where law enforcement will help the kids wrap their presents and all will be treated to a pizza party.

Money for the event is donated with the help of the Gallatin County Public Safety Foundation.

There will be two shopping shifts on Saturday. The first runs from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop with a Cop is a national event with law enforcement from around the country participating during the holiday season.

Donations for next year’s event will be collected at Target on Saturday.

Donations can also be mailed any time to the Gallatin County Public Safety Foundation, PO Box 3612, Bozeman MT 59772. Cash or checks made out to GCPSF are accepted.

Media contact:
Deputy Jackie Stewart