Congrats Montana!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report (with 2012 stats) that showed “in 2012, 10,322 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.” These were people killed nation-wide.

That was an increase of 4.6% from 2011.

As for Montana, it leads the nation with 44% of the fatalities being alcohol-related. During 2012, there were 89 people killed in Montana in alcohol-related crashes, according to the report.

These 89 people left behind family and friends.

So congratulations Montana!

The NHTSA should make a traveling “Drunk Driving” trophy that has to be prominently displayed in the state capitol for the year after a state leads the nation in alcohol-related fatalities. Maybe state legislators, the governor, and the attorney general would work harder to deter drunk driving if they had to see that trophy.

The sad thing is there are people driving around right now who have multiple DUIs on their record. Hardly a month goes by that I don’t read about someone with more than five DUIs getting caught again.

It does not have to be that way.  Continue reading

About these ads

Augare: Rights & Wrongs

In case you missed the story, Montana State Senator and Blackfeet tribal leader Shannon Augare was pulled over by a Glacier County deputy sheriff who suspected him of drinking and driving. The stop occurred on the Blackfeet Reservation. Augare reportedly told the deputy that the deputy had no jurisdiction. The deputy attempted to take Augare’s keys, but Augare reportedly fled the scene. The deputy contacted Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services about Augare, and it’s in their hands.

There are many rights and wrongs about this situation.

Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, “Thursday Numbers” is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm.

Please note that if you read this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Then again, when they find out that you spend your time reading blogs they may not be too impressed…

This week I write about Valentine’s Day facts, State of the Union, unemployment, Carol Brady, Saturday mail delivery, most religious and non-religious states, term limits, 14th DUI, MT Highway Patrol, Minimum wage, and much more!

Continue reading

Monday Morning Politics

Welcome to Monday Morning Politics – this is the “circus” edition in honor of the 63rd Montana Legislature that starts today!

In case you are a new visitor, this column is where I take a look at some of the political stories that caught my attention from the past weekend and put them in one place for my readers to see. I also provide some commentary!

Today I write about the Circus beginning in Helena and some advice to those in the media covering it. I also chime in about the GOP Chairman’s views on voting, Daines’ disaster vote, Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, Crapo paying for his DUI, and a salute to Virginia for their DUI laws. There’s a lot more so read on…

Continue reading

1.6 Years Per Life

Many folks in the Great Falls (Montana) community woke up Sunday morning September 25, 2011, and heard about a horrible accident that happened early in the morning at the Loading Zone bar.  As details emerged over the next few days, we found out that a driver plowed into the bar killing three people (Jeffrey Scott, Tony Hiatt, and Daigerrys Leon) and injuring two others.

With the case coming to a close and a sentence rendered last Friday, it’s time for me to offer my personal commentary.

Continue reading

That Darn Car Radio

With the National Transportation Safety Board saying that all cellphone use should be banned while driving an automobile, the issue has been brought to the forefront.  Of course, here at The Western Word I like to comment about things like this – so here goes…

Some cities have already taken up the cause and banned cellphone use while driving, and I like to call those cities wrong.

Yes, people have been killed or injured by someone using a cellphone while driving, but maybe they should ban hamburger and French fry eating, along with drinking coffee in automobiles, too.

Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Congratulations readers – you’ve made it to another Friday (a cold one in Montana).  You deserve to take a short break and catch up on the news and commentary via The Western Word’s “Caught My Eye” (Psst…your boss is probably reading it, too).

The “Caught My Eye” column has been posted here for 69 weeks, and it’s where I take a look at some of the stories in the news that I did not have time to write a full column about and offer some commentary – sometimes I add a little sarcasm.

Today I take a look at Castro and Congress, the Supercommittee, a local newspaper’s dilemma with comments, Jonestown, I crack open my political inbox, I look at a gift, and I salute the Occupy folks in Great Falls.  So read on… Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Here we go – another Thursday!  Just one more day and we’ve made it to another weekend – it’s downhill from here!

For the new folks stopping by for the first time, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at some of the numbers in the news and put them in one place for all to see – and offer some commentary about each.

This week I take a look at campaign fundraising, unemployment, “Likes” on Facebook, football, baseball, pitchers of beer, and much, much more! Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

In the last few weeks, The Western Word has taken a look at some of the “numbers” in the news.  This week we take a look at unemployment filings, fines, campaign fundraising, protestors, polls, miles, teams and there’s a lot more.

It all comes with some comments – so read on! Continue reading

Come on…

Here we are about 71 days into the 90 day session of the Montana Legislature and they have done little to tackle the problem with drunken driving in Montana.

But we sure know which legislator receives health insurance through the state and we’ve seen our state take up the “birther” issue and that major piece of legislation, called the Cowboy Code, went down in flames.

And we pay these folks for this “work?”

As I’ve written several times before the Montana Legislature is a circus – a big three ring circus – but even the most cynical of people (like me) expect them to handle the major issues facing the state in a timely manner. The DUI problem in the state was THE major issue. Of course, medical marijuana and workers’ comp are a couple of issues, too.

Cutting ties with the Federal Government was not a major issue…

According to an editorial in the Billings Gazette, there are about six DUI-related bills up for consideration. In my opinion, all of them should be passed quickly. It is time to for Montana’s citizens to kick their legislators in the pants to get them in gear. Time is wasting. Continue reading