Make the Right Choice–Celebrate the End of Summer With a Sober Ride

As summer festivities culminate with Labor Day weekend, many families and friends will be out on Montana’s roadways traveling to enjoy outdoor activities and gatherings. This popular travel time historically increases traffic, which unfortunately increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes. Labor Day weekend ends the period known as the “100 Deadliest Days” on Montana’s roadways, and it has already been a deadly summer in Montana with statewide increases in fatalities and serious injuries due to crashes. As of August 16, there have been 142 fatalities on Montana roadways in 2021 compared to the 122 fatalities this same time last year, so it is more important now than ever to drive safely and plan for a sober ride.

Missoula law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol will be watching for impaired driving through the Labor Day weekend, as part of the National Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization.

“We know everyone is eager to have fun and participate in this holiday weekend,” said Sgt. Michael Hebert. “But please do so safely and responsibly. Celebrating the end of summer shouldn’t result in the loss of life. Remember, drive sober or get pulled over.”

In Montana, over the last 10 years (2011-2020), there have been 112 fatalities within the two-week period up to and including Labor Day weekend. Drivers impaired by alcohol (BAC >= 0.080) were involved in 38 percent of these.

“No matter how you plan to observe Labor Day, make plans to have a sober ride,” continued Sgt. Hebert. “Designate a driver, arrange for a ride share, or call a cab; there are many ways to get home safely.”

Montanans are encouraged to take part in this effort by reporting any suspected impaired drivers to local law enforcement by calling 911, and helping to ensure all friends and family have secured sober transportation. Wearing your seat belt continues to be the best defense in the event of a motor vehicle crash, so buckle up every trip, every time, and remind other passengers in the vehicle to do the same.

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