A new law is designed to go after repeat DUI offenders. Gov. Steve Bullock signed the bill on Friday.
Currently, if five years or more come between two drunk driving convictions, that counts as a first offense. The new law allows judges to look back 10 years to add penalties for a second DUI.
A third drunk driving offense will always count as a third, no matter how long ago the first two were committed.
Attorney General Tim Fox says the change will help keep our streets safer. Fox threw his weight behind turning the bill into law, saying Montana has a big problem with drunk driving and needs to do something about it.
Fox and Bullock say the harsher law will help deter drunk driving.
NBC Montana caught up with MSU freshman,Kate Mcnamee. Mcnamee said she almost lost her friend to a drunk driver. She says she supports any law that will crack down on repeat offenders.
"I had a friend on a motorcycle who got hit by a drunk driver and she almost died, so I can't condone that," said Mcnamee.
Mcnamee says those who are caught with another DUI need to face consequences, even if the first offense happened 10 years before.
"If you're in a vehicle and you're drunk and you're driving and it happens twice, you clearly didn't learn your lesson," said Mcnamee.
NBC Montana wanted to know more about why repeat offenders get behind the wheel while drunk.
We went to Access Counseling and spoke to therapist Barbara Lair-Murray in Bozeman. We asked her why so many DUI offenders continue to commit the same crime. Lair-Murray says they have no control.
"They're addicted, they can't stop, literally can't stop," said Lair-Murray.
Lair-Murray told NBC Montana the reality for these repeat offenders is that drinking is a daily part of their life.
"A lot of times when they get to the point of having four or five DUIs, they're lost," said Lair-Murray.
She told us she believes people can change, but offenders need to go through a program early on. She doesn't dismiss the nature and seriousness of the crime -- she told us she supports the new law.
"I think consequences are the only thing that can wake a lot of people up," said Lair-Murray.
Lair-Murray says she communicates with the courts about clients convicted of multiple DUIs, helping them keep track of their progress. She says that will help judges make decisions about the appropriate punishment for the crimes.