Systemic Failure: 2 DUI’s in Five Hours

by jhwygirl

It’s not just a cultural Montana thing – and I do believe the general attitude towards drinking here in Montana is something that can be ascribed to a culture attitude here in the state – it’s a systemic failure.

How is it even possible that someone could be arrested for DUI twice in the space of 5 hours?

This wasn’t the first time that this has happened, I have no doubt. I believe this is the result of more than an individual’s choice – it is laws that allow this to happen and a society that produces individuals that don’t see anything wrong with getting behind the wheel after drinking yet alone those that don’t see anything wrong with getting behind the wheel in the hours after being released from jail on a DUI charge.

Consider contacting your legislator and asking them what they think should be done about drinking and driving in this state. Consider emailing your legislative candidates and asking them what they think should be done about drinking and driving in this state. This has got to stop.

In the meantime, know that the legislature is taking comments on proposed DUI bills for the next legislative session. Inform yourself, and participate in the process.


  1. Montana Cowgirl

    Thank you for this post. I too believe that Montanans want to see something done about this. No one wants to be hit by a drunk driver or have to worry about them side-swiping your car at night and then driving off or running over your dog.

  2. Pogo Possum

    “. . . . I do believe the general attitude towards drinking here in Montana is something that can be ascribed to a culture attitude here in the state – it’s a systemic failure.”

    Seems like one of Missoula’s local candidates for the legislature is doing all he can to contribute to the drinking culture attitude.

    The only thing the writer of this letter to the editor left out is that the popular excuse of “we profide free rides home” ignores the fact that every person arrested for a DUI felt he/she was sober enough to drive home.

    As another commentor on the Missoulian web site pointed out, Pam Walzer was arrested for her DUI on the way home from a Bryce Bennett fundraiser.

    House district 92: Bennett’s drinking message wrong
    “Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 7:55 am | (8) Comments

    What in the world was Bryce Bennett thinking?

    Bennett is the recent college graduate for the Legislature in House District 92, an area that includes the Rattlesnake, Seeley Lake and Condon. Despite the recent news of yet another tragic alcohol-related death in Montana, Bennett’s political organization sent out a mass e-mail promising free drinks for volunteers with the prominent line, “Multiple shifts means more drinks – so easy.” He is even organizing a pub crawl to make certain everyone hits multiple bars across the downtown to enjoy multiple drinks and, apparently, get very drunk in the process.

    Every year we hear of more horrible deaths in Montana from drunk drivers. Rattlesnake residents still remember Gwen Taylor was run over by a drunk driver in the Rattlesnake while holding her young son’s hand 12 years ago. Two young cousins died in Frenchtown in 2008. Two innocent teenage girls were killed by another drunk driver near East Missoula in December. Close to 100 people die each year in Montana due to drunk drivers. Their needless deaths will not stop until Montana changes its drinking culture. Montana must change its drinking culture.

    Bryce Bennett apparently does not realize that he is working to change excessive drinking while also contributing to the problem. I would expect more maturity and common sense from someone running for public office.
    Rebecca Shaneyfelt, Missoula”

    http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_86bdb234-6417-11df-9095-001cc4c002e0.html




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