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Butte police expect fewer DUI arrests in 2019

DUI rate down almost 10 percent from last year
Posted at 2:38 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 16:38:37-05

Butte police say in 2019 fewer people are being locked up for drinking and driving, a big change from the Mining City’s rowdier past.

“It was a time when it was increasing, you know, going up every year,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.

Since the end of October DUI arrests in Butte appear to be down almost 10 percent from the same time last year. While police are still crunching the numbers, this holiday season appears to show fewer drunk driving arrests.

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“It’s not that we’re not enforcing the law, I think people are educated and are using share rides or walking or doing whatever they’re doing,” said Skuletich.

Police have noticed a cultural change in recent years when it comes to drinking and driving. More people are getting designated drivers or using ride-share programs and police are patrolling more.

“Basically, from year to year we look at the dates of major events in Butte are and we put out extra DUIs for that and we post DUI shifts every month and officers are working them and bring in DUIs but again not as many people out there driving under the influence,” said Skuletich.

And while this is good news in Butte, on a national level Montana still ranks high for DUI arrests and DUI related deaths.