BUTTE-In the Mining City, police say they've seen an increase in DUI arrests during the pandemic in the past few weeks.
In the past two weeks, Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester says they've seen a dozen DUIs, which he says is a spike for Butte.
He adds they've even seen some in the middle of the day, which Sheriff Lester says is out of the ordinary. He believes the spike is linked to people drinking more and having more time on their hands during the pandemic.
Sheriff Lester adds his officers are always on the lookout for impaired drivers and with bars closing at 11:30 p.m., instead of 2 a.m., police say there's decreased traffic which allows police to better spot impaired drivers.
"I think we're seeing decreased traffic, especially late at night because the bars are closed at 11:30 p.m. versus 2 a.m., so there's just not as many people moving around if you've had a few drinks and you're making mistakes while you're driving, you're going to stand out a little more," said Sheriff Lester.
He adds they want to make people aware of the increased DUI's to hopefully avoid more arrests in the future.
Sheriff Lester wants to remind residents, cab companies and Ubers are open for business and to make a plan to get home before heading to the bars to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.