01 January 2011

New Year's Eve with the Montana Highway Patrol

Trooper Patrick McLaughlin provides backup during a DUI stop.

Trooper McLaughlin types up a faulty equipment ticket.
In the well-below freezing weather, Trooper McLaughlin stops to check on a stranded motorist.

A DUI stop on New Year's Eve.

After a man was arrested for driving under the influence, the troopers move the violator's car off the road.
So I spent NYE doing a ride along with Trooper Pat McLaughlin of the Montana Highway Patrol. Overall, it was a quiet night - only one DUI, which we were backup on, and four broken headlights. But the 4.5 hours we spent with him were still very interesting. The scariest point of the night? When Trooper McLaughlin declared that the reporter and I were his backup if "stuff should go bad." He even showed us how to unlock the guns (a shotgun and an M4) in his car (a secret I'm not allowed to reveal). "They're hot, so you just have to pump a round into the chamber," he said. Ya.....okaaay.

So even though I was prepared for the worst, it turned out to be a tame, yet entertaining evening.

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