Programs Help Crack Down On Drunk Drivers - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Programs Help Crack Down On Drunk Drivers

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BOZEMAN -

As the holidays are approaching, cops across the state are cracking down on drunk drivers.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will increase patrols during the holiday period from December 16 through January 1.

County sheriffs, city police and the Montana Highway Patrol are urging motorists to drive sober and ask their friends and family to drive sober, too.

The crack down begins at the bars. Bar tenders are making sure patrons don't get behind the wheel drunk.

In 2011 state legislators passed a law requiring bar tenders and servers to take a class every three years to learn the signs that someone's had too much to drink.

Heather Hume teaches the class at Alcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County.

"We go over the effects of alcohol on the body and also we go over false id's or fake id's," said Hume.

Hume said while going over the signs someone might be too drunk, people who take the class get something new out of it.

"The majority of the people that take the class are always commenting they learned something and it will help them in the future at their job," said Hume.

Now through January 2, if you had too much to drink before you get into your car, you can call Operation Tipsy Tow to get you and your car home safely.

"They will send a tow truck to pick up the vehicle and the people and take them home, so you don't have to worry about leaving your car downtown," said Lee Williams, AAA Bozeman.

AAA partnered with local towing companies in Bozeman, Belgrade, Livingston, Missoula, Hamilton, Kalispell, Helena, East Helena, Montana City and Billings to provide the free service.

Williams said the program does have its limitations.

"The tow distance is limited to 10 miles," said Williams. "And Operation Tipsy Tow will only take you home, not to the next party."

Williams says people should expect a 60-90 minute wait, depending on weather and how many people use the service.

To get a ride from Operation Tipsy Tow, call 800-222-4357.

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