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Gallatin Co. deputies see more weather-related incidents over Christmas weekend

Posted at 8:57 AM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 10:57:00-05

BOZEMAN - During this time of year, people usually like to visit with family. They don’t necessarily want a visit from law enforcement.

“Certainly New Years and all of our holidays we put extra patrols out there to make sure people are doing the right thing,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer.

Christmas weekend was relatively quiet this year. Well, Saturday was, but Sunday was pretty busy.

“So we had about 44 vehicle calls for service over the weekend, which is a pretty high number for the sheriff’s office," said Springer. "Highway Patrol they get more at times but 44 for us is pretty high. We also had a fatality accident over in Belgrade.”

But what about DUIs?

“I think just 1 DUI," said Springer. "But that oftentimes is a reflection more of our guys being busy with other calls.”

“Weather like this, conditions like this, the sooner we can get there the safer it is for individuals," said Springer. "Some of the issues are not just traffic accidents but you can’t spend a whole lot of time in a snowbank in these kinds of conditions.”

While deputies are spending a lot of time with weather-related issues, that doesn’t mean drivers who choose to drive under the influence get away with no problems.

“Obviously under the influence is never a good time, so we definitely do see less traffic during these kinds of conditions, but the issues become the road conditions are so bad that if you have been drinking you’re more likely going to end up in a ditch,” said Springer.

And the sheriff says there are too many alternative options out there versus ending up in a ditch.

“There are so many options between Ubers and rideshares and all these other things to get up and do all these other things," Springer noted. "Have a plan when you decide to go out and have fun with your friends, make sure you have a plan whether that’s picking up an Uber ride or a Lyft or having a designated driver.”

Like the sheriff said, it’s always a good idea to have a plan to avoid meeting up with some deputies.