Driving Under the Influence charges are a frequent occurrence in Missoula County, but over the past few weekends, Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says the rate of DUI arrests has spiked.

"It does seem as if we've seen a lot of DUI arrests during weekends the past few weeks," Welsh said. "This past weekend was no exception, the Missoula Police department arrested eight persons for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs."

Two weekends ago, there were 12 DUI arrests, a trend that police fear may continue through the next weekend.

"Typically, the holiday of St. Patrick's day does associate with the consumption of alcohol and we are cautioning people to find designated drivers, use alternate forms of transportation, and get home alive. We are certainly going to be prepared for the alternative, however, and we will have officers out specifically looking for impaired drivers."

According to Welsh, the number of DUI arrests for Missoula is typically around four per weekend, but recent rates are double or even triple what law enforcement usually encounters.

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