We are gearing up to celebrate the holidays. In some cases maybe celebrating a little too much. With company Christmas parties, get-togethers with friends, gallons of egg nog (with plenty of rum), and those delicious hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps drinks. It is easy for things to get a little out of hand. And the Montana Highway Patrol wants you to know that there is a way to guarantee you end up on the naughty list this year. That is drinking and driving.

The holidays are meant to spend time with family and friends. Not lose them to a drunk driving accident. Montana is the top state for drunk driving fatalities in the country. In a 2018 study, Montana had 11 DUI-related deaths for every 100, 000 drivers on the road.

Photo courtesy of Montana Highway Patrol
Photo courtesy of Montana Highway Patrol

According to the Montana Department of Transportation

Montana has one of the highest fatality rates in the nation for number of deaths caused by impaired drivers per vehicle mile traveled.

Data from 2020 indicates that 66% of all fatalities were the result of impaired driving, this is up from 58% during 2019.

Let's hope that the trend doesn't continue to grow. The Montana Department of Transportation and the Montana Highway Patrol have a goal of ZERO alcohol-related deaths in years to come.

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So how do they plan to make the "Vision Zero" plan happen? Simple! Increased patrols for drunk drivers. And YES "buzzed" driving is still considered DUI. There are no real excuses for driving drunk. Not even if you have an important delivery for Santa on Christmas eve.

Take the following "Montana Highway Patrol Christmas Tale" for example. Not even Santa's elves can escape the law.

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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