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Montana roads increasingly dangerous with more drugged drivers

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Montana are placing themselves, their passengers and others on the road at risk for injuries and fatalities in an auto accident. While this is a problem across the nation – particularly with more states legalizing certain recreational drugs and prescription medication abuse – Montana has a high rate of arrests due to driving under the influence.

Statistically, Montana is currently the worst state in the nation for drunk driving. In addition, law enforcement is reporting that they are seeing a worrisome spike in drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs. People who are on the road need to think about the risks they face and know what they can do if they are injured or lose a loved one in a DUI crash.

DUI numbers paint a troubling picture

Forbes Advisor recently reported that in 2024, Montana has the worst rate for drunk drivers. For every 1,000 residents, an estimated seven people are losing their lives in an auto accident because of a drunk driver. For 2023, there were 195 roadway fatalities in the state. Of those, nearly 37% cited alcohol as a factor.

Montana Highway Patrol says they are increasingly vigilant about watching for telltale signs of drug use when they make a traffic stop investigating a potential DUI. With alcohol-related DUI, the driver might show specific signs. It can be different with drugs. Those trained in drug recognition are experienced in knowing what to look for.

If the driver was smoking marijuana, that has a distinctive and recognizable odor. Other types of drugs can cause the driver to have a rapid or slower heart rate, exhibit an unusual body temperature or their eyes can respond unusually to having light shined in them. In some cases, the driver combined alcohol and drugs. The drugs could be prescription medications or street drugs.

After a DUI accident with injuries, people have options

Any auto accident can result in serious injuries and loss of life. DUI crashes are especially egregious because of the lack of care and responsibility the drunk or drugged driver exhibited. Those who were harmed need to think about medical expenses, long-term challenges, the inability to work, the emotional upheaval, rehabilitation and how it can change their family life. The entire case needs to be assessed and investigated to accrue evidence that it was related to a DUI. It is imperative to know what steps to take in the immediate aftermath.



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