In the summer of 2006, Montana State University MOST of Us contracted a statewide phone survey of 404 randomly selected adult Montanans. The survey asked questions about law enforcement in general and impaired driving in detail.
Citizen Harm and Perception of Harm from Impaired Driving
• Ninety-four percent of Montana adults agree or strongly agree that impaired driving is a crucial issue in Montana.
• Nearly a third of Montana adults have been impacted in some way by impaired driving. Thirty percent reported that they or someone in their family had been injured, arrested, fined, had property damage or been affected in some other way.
• Sixty-three percent believe that if someone in their community was to drive while impaired, the chances are high or very high that they would harm themselves, harm someone else or damage vehicles or property. Seventeen percent believe the chances are low or very low.
• Forty-five percent of Montana adults believe the chances are high or very high that they or someone they care about might be harmed by an impaired driver. Twenty-four percent think the chances are low or very low.
• Twenty-four percent of Montana adults believe that if someone in their community was to drive while impaired, the chances are high or very high that they would be pulled over. Fifty-six percent believe the chances are very low or low.
• Forty-nine percent of Montana adults agreed that they would only vote for a candidate for state legislature who supports increased and highly visible impaired driving enforcement; another ten percent strongly agreed.
Support for Law Enforcement
• Ninety-one percent of Montana citizens reported being very supportive of law enforcement.
• Seventy-six percent of Montana citizens reported feeling safer in the presence of law enforcement.
• Eighty-nine percent of Montana adults believe that law enforcement officers are generally trustworthy and honest.
Influence of the Media on Perceptions of Law Enforcement
• Eighty-six percent of Montanans believe that the media does not affect their perceptions of law enforcement at all. Six percent of respondents think the media has given them a negative perception of law enforcement.