The Wednesday Read: Drunks & Child Abuse

Montana, Montana, Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast, You’re easily the best
Montana, Montana, Where skies are always blue…
-Montana State Song
-Lyrics by Charles Cohan, Melody by Joseph E. Howard

We are about to enjoy another one of those great summers in Montana, with thousands upon thousands of people visiting the state to see our mountains, visit our parks, and fish and float in our rivers.

Sadly, Montana is becoming well-known for a couple reasons that should bother us all: drunk driving and child abuse.

The Billings Gazette editorial board talked about child abuse in Montana during a recent editorial:

The number of child abuse and neglect cases filed in Montana District Courts has exploded in the past several years, increasing from 1,006 children in 2009 to 2,667 in 2017, according to the Montana Supreme Court Administrator’s Office. Last year, the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office filed 755 cases (including repeat removals) seeking court protection of abused and neglected children — six times the number filed in 2009.

Cascade County (Great Falls) has been at or near the top for child abuse and neglect cases.

In 2016, USA Today reported that Montana was the second most dangerous state for drunken driving.

For 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities among total traffic fatalities in States ranged from a high of 45 percent (Montana and North Dakota) to a low of 19 percent (Mississippi and Utah), compared to the national average of 28 percent.

We’re coming up on election season. We need to elect people to the state legislature that will put these two issues at the top of their to-do list if elected.

When a candidate comes to your door or you run into them ask them what they plan to do about drunk driving and child abuse and neglect in Montana.

Then vote accordingly.