Originally Posted by aftermath
Montana, number 2? I have spent a lot of time in Montana and I can tell you two things. They like to drive fast and they have a pretty independent way of thinking there. Laws are "suggestions" to be followed when you can.
This is also the last state to adopt the open bottle law. Their position was that drinking while driving was not the issue, it was being drunk while driving that causes all the trouble. When you think of it that way, it does make sense.
My son in law was fighting a big fire about 9 years ago and after a 20 hour day, he was heading back to Missoula on I-90. He was in his yellow shirt with dirt and soot from head to toe and had a cold beer in his lap. He was also going about 80. He was pulled over by a highway patrolman and when the guy saw his yellow shirt he thanked him for helping with the fires. The patrolman also saw the open beer and simply asked my son in law to get home safely and to slow down a bit. Only in Montana could you get away with that.
Wow ... very hard to picture. We have a DUI problem here and very limited resources (low populationi density, low budget $$$) to patrol a vast area... working on it - yes ... solved - NO. Your son in law's related experience is not verified by my own; I would imagine that the MHP would have a definite problem with the officer involved in your story. Never have I known an officer that would condone such conduct as related above... and I started in LE back in 1979 ... serving in Montana city, county, and federal jurisdictions.
Drinking while driving / open container violations are written up as far as I have experienced - individual officer discretion is allowed here just as in most jurisdictions. But to say that our laws are merely suggestions is not the case. Statistics are what they are, but do not justify maligning Montana or impugning our leos. The picture of Montana painted by this visitor is by all accounts inaccurate IMO and experience... don't expect to visit here and "to get away" with the behavior cited above.