We are checking the facts on new public safety laws that will take effect at the beginning of October. The measures include setting new rules for sex offenders and aims to crack down on drugged driving and synthetic drug use.
We dug through the new laws and spoke to the head of the Missouri River Drug Task Force. Lieutenant Jake Wagner tells us he is familiar with two of these laws in particular.
"House bill 140 and 168," said Wagner. Both of these deal with different kinds of drugs from designer drugs, to marijuana.
"We have a threshold as for marijuana within one's body. As for being behind a driver of a vehicle, there is an established threshold if you have been smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel, you are likely going to jail for a DUI," said Wagner.
Since these rules are set to go into effect in a matter of days, we hit the streets of downtown Bozeman to see what people thought. Dan Shapiro lives in the Paradise Valley and had not heard of any of the new measures, so we briefed him on what the laws are about.
"Sounds very common sense, doesn't particularly bother me," said Shapiro.
Others we spoke to had the same reaction.
"Seems like common sense laws that I would have thought were already in place," said Laurie Jungst.
"Seems like things that make sense," said Hintzpeter.
Wagner tells us he hopes the laws will help them crack down on driving under the influence of marijuana and synthetic drug use. Overall he hopes the new laws will work to help keep Montana safe.
We also looked at the other new laws taking effect next week. One would require any sex offender that moves to Montana to submit a DNA sample to the state crime lab. In another, the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to disclose all instances of child abuse to law enforcement.