Fourth of July weekend is approaching and the Montana Highway Patrol has a few reminders for Montanans. Col. Tom Butler said he hopes all families do the responsible thing, including not driving while impaired, and buckling up.

"A significant portion of our fatalities this year have been the end result of people making a very poor choice by not buckling up and alcohol has been mixed in with that," Butler said. "We just hope that everybody does the right thing and gets to come home the day after the fourth, and continue to spend quality time with their family."

Col. Butler said many folks will be drinking and some will be tempted to drink and drive. That’s why the MHP will have extra patrols out from now until July 8 to "discourage bad decisions."

"Earlier this spring there was a significant increase in fatalities from last year to this year and that number is starting to get closer together again," Butler said. "But, you know, it's real easy to talk about these statistics, but I think everybody sometimes forgets that these are mothers, brothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles...These numbers all reflect the people who have tragically died and leaves a gaping hole in their family. And you know, sometimes I think we lose track of that."

The MHP is joined by law enforcement across the state for the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" DUI crackdown.

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