In general, holidays for some people in Montana are an excuse to drink in excess and party. Halloween is one of the holidays where alcohol is flowing, and this can lead to an increase in DUIs. Drivers should understand the penalties associated with operating under the influence and make plans to avoid the temptation to drive.
According to the Montana Government, there are numerous penalties for driving over the legal limit. Along with financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, court costs and the potential of losing a job, the fines associated with a DUI range from $600 to $5,000.
Jail time is also a penalty of a DUI. First-time offenders must serve a minimum of 24 hours but may have to serve up to six months. Subsequent offenders must serve anywhere from five days to one year. DUI convictions require a driver’s license suspension of at least six months. Some drivers may be eligible for a restricted license, which allows driving to work, alcohol programs, school and locations related to maintaining a house.
Drivers should review these penalties before going out on Halloween. The PR Newswire reports that this holiday is responsible for a 20% jump in alcohol violations, and that drunk drivers cause almost 50% of accident fatalities.
The best way to avoid getting into trouble is to plan ahead. Some tips include:
- Designating a sober driver
- Importing phone numbers for car services
- Downloading and setting up apps for ride-shares such as Uber and Lyft
- Staying at a hotel
One of the negative effects of drinking alcohol is poor judgement and decision making. That is why it is so important to make a plan before the night starts.