Under Montana law, there are strict penalties for individuals convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even a first offense may lead to jail time, significant fines and a license suspension.

A judge also has the authority to require an ignition interlock device, even in the case of a first offense.

Alcohol-related deaths

According to a report from KULR News, Montana ranks as the worst state for drunk driving deaths based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The KULR article indicates that in 2018, there were 88 drunk driving deaths in the state. Based on the number of DUI deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers, Montana had the highest fatality rate in the entire United States.

DUI penalties

The Montana Department of Transportation provides information on the penalties for DUI convictions. The MDT chart shows that the blood alcohol concentration threshold for a DUI is 0.08, which means that an individual who drives with a BAC over this number may get a conviction even if there is no proof of impairment. A BAC over 0.16 may qualify as an aggravated DUI and lead to more severe penalties.

The MDT indicates that a first DUI offense may lead to at least 24 hours in jail, though the sentence may be up to six months. Fines may range from $600 to $1,000, and there may be additional court costs. A first offender may also lose his or her license for six months.

A second DUI offense has more severe consequences, including at least one week in jail, a minimum fine of $2,400 and a one-year license suspension. An individual may also have to complete a sobriety treatment program.