Holiday DUIs decline amid pandemic

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Missoula Police Department (MPD) reported less misdemeanor DUI's during the week between Christmas Eve and New Years in 2020 than 2019. 

In 2019, MPD made 55 additional stops, resulting in 14 DUIs. In 2020, MPD made 40 additional stops, resulting in 6 DUI arrests, less than half the amount from the year before. Sargent Matt Kazinsky said they had two less extra officers patrolling this year, which makes up for some of the difference, but it's likely COVID-19 restricts played a large role. 

"Downtown bars closing at 10 o'clock... then also no large events that would normally take place," Kazinsky said. "More than likely, people stayed home and had their celebrations there as opposed to driving. So, that, among other factors, that's probably the biggest one, the COVID restrictions that were in place for the city."

Missoula Police also has its own COVID precautions in place. They are being aware of social distancing and only making necessary traffic stops, so they are not stopping as many people as they may normally. 

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