Winter weather, holiday parties, and too much holiday cheer can lead to a tragedy on Western Montana's highways.

Mike Burman with the Montana Highway Patrol wants drivers to know, extra patrols will be out over the holidays, and that those displaying distracted driving will be pulled over. Burman advises party-goers to choose a designated driver before the celebration starts, to ensure that everyone gets home safely.

Missoula Police, the Sheriff's department and the Highway Patrol will all be out in force to keep drunk, drugged and distracted drivers off the road.

Burman wants drivers to know that a DUI arrest will send them directly to jail, and that a conviction can lead to thousands of dollars in legal fees and fines, in addition to suspension of a driver's license.

Burman also encourages everyone in the vehicle to be safely bucked in, especially children, and to drive with caution on icy and snow-covered roads.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Burman