DUI Patrol Doubles On New Years Eve - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

DUI Patrol Doubles On New Years Eve

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KALISPELL -

It is that time of year, to celebrate the end of the year. Unfortunately, that means police have to be out in full force, on DUI patrol.

Jimmy Murphy has been behind a bar almost his whole life, and even he has his doubts about December 31.

"I wouldn't say nervous. Excited, apprehensive," said Murphy.

The Flathead Sheriff's Department says New Years eve is one of the biggest nights for drinking all year.

"Last year, we had just opened in November, but still we had a packed house," remembered Murphy.

That means you will see double the number of these that you would usually see out at night, just watching the roads for anyone with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08.

"We will have beefed up patrols tonight. It's a busy night for us," said Chuck Curry, the Flathead County Sheriff.

Curry says he would call New Years eve a success if they did not make one DUI arrest, but he admits the odds of that happening are slim, but improving.

"Our numbers have gone down from years past. They still fluctuate," said Curry.

Last December, Kalispell police made ten DUI arrests, but not a single DUI arrest happened to fall on New Years eve, due, in part, Curry says to the services available during the holiday. Even without a designated driver, you can still avoid the fines, classes, and possible jail time by taking Tipsy Tow home, rather than getting behind the wheel yourself.

"It can be fun. You gotta watch your p's and q's," said Murphy.

Murphy says he tries to get people to switch to non-alcoholic drinks and eat some food if he sees "slurred words, dropping your drink, yelling, and screaming, you know, the basic things," in his own words.

Extra officers are not always enough. Sheriff Curry asks if you see someone on the road who might be driving drunk, to call 911.

If you need a ride, and a tow for your car, in the Whitefish or Kalispell area, call 800.AAA.HELP (800.222.4357).

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