Bozeman Police Step Up Patrols for July 4th, Urge Public to Plan Sober Rides

BOZEMAN — As the Fourth of July approaches, local law enforcement agencies, in partnership with the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), are encouraging Montanans to plan a sober ride home before celebrations begin. The Bozeman Police Department and MHP will increase their presence and patrols over the holiday, focusing on preventing impaired driving and making DUI arrests to ensure Montanans make it home safely.

“Our goal is to ensure everyone in the community can celebrate the holiday safely and responsibly. Not only is drinking and driving illegal, it’s incredibly dangerous,” said Bozeman Police Patrol Captain Hal Richardson. “Driving under the influence puts everyone at risk. If you plan on drinking, plan for a sober ride home.”

Here are some tips to help keep drivers and communities safe this holiday:

Designate a Sober Driver: Plan your safe ride home before the party starts. Choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.

Find a Sober Driver: Do not drive if you’ve been drinking. Call a sober friend, or use a taxi or ridesharing service.

Be a Responsible Host: If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, ensure all guests leave with a sober driver.

Be a Good Friend: If someone has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help find them a safe ride home.

Buckle Up: Seatbelts are the best defense against impaired drivers.

Report Impaired Drivers: If you see an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and call 911.

The Fourth of July is known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” when the most traffic fatalities and crashes occur in Montana and across the country. Bozeman Police and MHP are committed to reaching Vision Zero, an ongoing statewide campaign by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to strive for zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana’s roadways.

According to MHP, if drivers have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, they could receive a DUI charge and other serious consequences, including having their driver’s license revoked, being required to take mandatory classes, and receiving possible jail time and paying up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees.

Montana’s sobering statistics highlight the need for law enforcement to be on high alert over the holiday. Montana has the highest fatality rate in the nation for the number of deaths caused by impaired drivers per vehicle mile traveled. 63% of all traffic fatalities in Montana are the result of impaired driving, and from 2012-2021, 1,268 people were killed in crashes involving an impaired driver.

“While shocking, these statistics are entirely preventable,” said Captain Richardson. “Having a plan for a sober ride is a simple, responsible action that helps keep these numbers down, gets us closer to zero, and keeps our community safe.”

For more information about Vision Zero, contact Tammy Ross, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-9192, or