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Butte police issue 'disappointing' number of DUIs over St. Patrick's Day

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Posted at 10:10 AM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 12:10:49-04

BUTTE - Butte’s St. Patrick’s Day had great weather and big crowds. Unfortunately, too many people were driving drunk as law enforcement reported 11 drunken-driving arrests over the celebration, which they said was disappointing.

“There’s just no excuse," said Butte Sheriff Ed Lester. "We had Ubers available. There were cabs available. There were free rides home available, and so that’s the only disappointing part of the weekend I can see is we had too many DUIs.”

Police estimate 10,000 people came to Uptown to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They made 12 arrests for minor disturbances over the celebration. Police will try to be better prepared for drunk driving offenses next year.

“The highway patrol and ourselves will be out there and work even harder next year and maybe a pregame will be a little more intensive with more advertising and prevention information,” said Lester.

City crews were busy Saturday morning cleaning up all the trash on the streets.

“By far it was probably the biggest mess we've encountered the day after a St. Patrick’s Day in many years,” said Butte Events Coordinator Ed Heard.

Workers spent about 5 hours cleaning up the mess.

“Pretty much used snow shovels to clean up sidewalks and it wasn’t the snow we were cleaning. A lot of cups, beer cans, left over to-go boxes from different establishments,” said Heard.

Jon Wick’s business 5518 Designs was in the heart of the celebration and he said it was great for business. He commended the cleanup crew for their work.

“When we got here at 10 o’clock Saturday morning it felt as if St. Patrick’s Day didn’t even exist. The street was barren of all trash, everything was cleaned up. I was really proud to call Butte home after that,” said Wick.

Police were involved in a pursuit early Saturday morning with a suspected drunk driver who hit a road fixture and then another car on Montana Street. They ended up arresting the man who remains jailed on several charges.