Montana may be the land of big sky and a seemingly endless array of natural beauty but it is also a land where drunk drivers appear extremely reluctant to get the message that they should not operate vehicles after consuming alcohol.
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of people killed in all motor vehicle accidents statewide dropped quite considerably from 224 in 2015 to 190 in 2016. Unfortunately, the number of people killed by drunk drivers between those two years went up. In 2015, the state saw 76 people killed at the hands of drunk drivers. In 2016, that number rose to 85.
Missoula County saw a jump in overall traffic fatalities between those two years with the same number of drunk driving deaths. In the five years from 2012 through 2016, 75 lives were lost in vehicles crashes in the county, 23 of which were lost in drunk driving accidents. Only Flathead County lost more lives to drunk drivers in that time period across all of Missoula Counties neighboring counties. In Flathead County, there were 29 drunk driving deaths in that time. None of the counties that border Missoula County were free of drunk driving deaths, however. These facts only highlight the reality that more work is needed to get people to put away their keys, call a cab, a rideshare, a friend or perhaps not even drink at all.
If you would like to learn more about how you can take action after a drunk driving accident, please feel free to visit the crash compensation and assistance page of our Montana personal injury website.