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DUI patrols increase this weekend for Cat-Griz game

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Nov 16 2012 10:48:14 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 16 2012 10:49:24 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The big Cat-Griz game is this weekend so local law enforcement agencies are tripling the number of troopers hitting the roads for what they know will be a big party weekend.   

The Missoula Police Department, the Missoula Sheriff’s Department and Montana Highway Patrol are all increasing the number of troopers they'll have out this weekend.  They say their No. 1 goal is to stop folks from drinking and driving

“We don't want anybody that's impaired out on the road,” said Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Chad Dever.  “If people are drinking and driving we want to get them stopped before they hurt anybody or themselves.”

Dever says the increased presence of law enforcement is supposed to sway people from drinking and driving. 

“There will be people that’ll see us down here and decide maybe drinking and driving isn’t such a good idea,” said Dever. 

Dever says he understands Cat-Griz games and alcohol go hand-in-hand, but when it comes to drinking and driving he says there are alternatives -- ride the bus, walk, call a friend or designated driver, or call a cab.

‘Ucallus’ Designated Drivers is a local nonprofit, donation-based group that's been giving intoxicated drivers a sober ride home for over a year now.

Founder of Ucallus Kevin Sandberg says people can party all they want so long as they’re doing it safely.  “Give us a call, call Yellow Cab, call Green Taxi.  Were out there for you and we’re there to get you home safely,” said Sandberg. 

Students say they have enough money problems to deal with without having to add DUI fines, fees and court costs to the picture.

“I would take a cab for sure,” said University of Montana student Timmy Sonnenberg.  “Ten bucks for a cab ride compared to $1,200 for a DUI; yeah, I choose 10 bucks for sure. It's a no-brainer.”

Dever said he thinks increased patrols will deter people from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

“People will see all the police downtown and for those that need to see that, I think it will be effective and I know it'll be a great deterrent," said Dever.