According to police reports, St. Patrick's weekend in Missoula was a lucky one, in more ways than one. Fewer DUI arrests compared to previous weekends was something to feel proud about. Still, two very recent drunk driving stories have people all over town wondering if this holiday weekend was just a fluke.

Drinking, Driving, Babysitting?

Just this week a Missoula man plead not guilty at our local District Court after allegedly driving intoxicated with a baby in the vehicle. Two months ago, the 24 year old allegedly hit a vehicle in town, fled the scene, and ended up with his car in a snowbank. Reports say he was well over the limit, and the child was able to make it back home after the accident.

Towing While Tipsy?

Last week a Butte man was driving on his way to assist with towing a vehicle from a DUI scene, only to be arrested for supposedly drinking and driving himself. Police called in for a tow truck to help with a four car accident leading them to an allegedly intoxicated individual. When the tow truck arrived on the scene, a person nearby noticed that he too might have been drinking, which in return landed him in the hands of local police.

As a result of these recent DUI stories and many others, Missoula residents and authorities have ramped up efforts in helping shed a spotlight on this issue. A currently unnamed and local Community Awareness Program is forming with the help of many area experts and concerned citizens. The first public meeting was held at the Missoula County Fairgrounds last Wednesday in hopes of finding solutions to the growing epidemic. Committees within the new program are currently forming and are open to anyone interested in sharing ideas and solutions. Please email with your inquiries.