The Montana Highway Patrol is looking for a little public support in keeping drunk and distracted drivers off the road this Memorial Day weekend. 

Captain Jim Kitchen said it takes more than just extra patrols to get the job done.

"We’re looking for some community involvement,” Kitchen said. “Please, everybody drive defensively this weekend, take your time getting to where you’re going to. You know, traffic’s going to be pretty busy going up to the lakes, so if we can get some community involvement to help us out and just drive safe. If you see something wrong, let us know. We really like it because it helps us focus our direction on where to go look, and we take care of business that way.”

Kitchen once again emphasized the importance of everyone in the vehicle wearing a seat belt.

“Non-use has been responsible for about 79 percent of all the fatalities over the past couple of years in the state of Montana,” he said. “It’s right there. All you’ve got to do is put it across your waist and correctly, strap it in and buckle it up. The same for your children in the back in those child safety seats. Seat belts do save lives.”

Kitchen said the Highway Patrol’s specialized traffic unit will be watching the roads around western Montana this holiday weekend.

“We do have the Safety Enforcement Traffic team in town this weekend,” he said. “They’ll be doing a lot of seat belt and DUI enforcement over the weekend. They’ll be hitting several targeted areas doing saturation enforcement. You’ll be seeing them out there, just to make sure that everyone is driving safely.”

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