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Briefs: Summer DUI enforcement; Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest names new supervisor

Law enforcement is stepping up DUI patrols for the summer

Elinor Smith | Montana Public Radio

Montana law enforcement will increase their lookout for intoxicated drivers this summer. There will be more patrols during high-traffic days like the 4th of July or Labor Day.

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the “100 deadliest days of summer,” and Montanans can expect to see an uptick in police patrolling on state roads.

Spencer Harris is a law enforcement liaison with the Montana Department of Transportation. Harris says one of the best ways Montanans can stay safe this summer is to plan a safe ride home.

“If you're going to go out and have a good time and drink, don't get behind the wheel. That's the biggest thing. Just don't drink and drive,” said Harris.

According to a report from Forbes, Montana was the worst state in the nation for drunk driving, due to the rate of fatal crashes, underage drinkers and DUI arrests.

The state transportation department says 65 people died this year on roads — and more than half of those are suspected to be related to impaired driving.

The Department of Transportation urges Montanans who believe they see a drunk driver on the road to stay a safe distance away, get license plate information if possible, and report it to their local law enforcement office.

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest names new forest supervisor

Edward O’Brien| Montana Public Radio

Montana’s largest National Forest has a new leader. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest announced June 14th it’s picked a forest supervisor.

Alfred Watson comes to southwest Montana’s Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest from California’s Sequoia National Forest where he currently serves as a District Ranger.

He replaces Lisa Timchak who retired in April.

As Forest Supervisor Watson will direct the work of district rangers across the Beaverhead-Deerlodge,

In his multi-decade Forest Service career, he’s held various positions in seven national forests, including the Gifford Pinchot, Olympic and Okanogan-Wenatchee forests. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science in Science in Civil Engineering from Portland State University with a minor in Geotechnical Engineering.

He starts his new job July 15th.

Elinor is a reporter and the host of evening news on Montana Public Radio.
Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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