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Butte parade

Butte's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade makes its way East on Mercury Street led by a color guard and the Butte Ancient Order of Hibernians. 

BUTTE — Disorderly arrests were down, but drunken-driving arrests were up during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Local law enforcement made 17 DUI arrests in the Butte area between late Friday and early Monday, according to Sheriff Ed Lester. Of those, police made eight DUI arrests and the Montana Highway Patrol made nine.

Meanwhile, 52 people were arrested in that same period for various misdemeanor offenses such as disorderly conduct and assault. This was down by a handful of arrests from last year’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Lester said that is a considerably low number compared with past years, where they’ve made more than 100 arrests.

“I think the weather calmed everything down,” Lester said.

The cold temperatures and blustery wind that rolled into the area Saturday and Sunday may have kept the large crowds normally associated with St. Patrick’s Day away from Uptown. The sheriff, who assisted in patrolling the streets over the weekend, said there didn’t seem to be as many people out year.

“I think that snow storm surprised people and they decided to drive than to walk home,” he said.

Police made five DUI arrests during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day, which fell on a Saturday. Ten DUI arrests were made in 2011.

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Of the 17 DUIs issued, five were aggravated offenses. This means the driver’s blood/alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Police issued a record low three minor in possession of alcohol citations for underage drinking this weekend. There were 17 MIP citation issued during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Police reported no major crimes. Most incidents involved fights or other drunken, rowdy behavior.

Police also gave people rides home who were not dressed for the sudden cold temperatures Saturday evening.

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