Butte is famous for its large Irish population and active St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but things were a bit different this past holiday.  According to Butte-Silverbow County Sheriff Ed Lester, there were only 17 D.U.I.s issued over the weekend. A historically low number.

"That was a little higher than I expected and I was a little disappointed in that, but overall the number of arrests were pretty low," Lester said. "We had 55 arrests over the three days, Friday Saturday and Sunday. That's extremely low for St. Patty's day. We've had over 130 arrests on just one of those days in the past."

Lester says the sheriff's department put seven times the normal number of personnel on the streets over the weekend. Although the law enforcement numbers were up, it appears there was a decrease in the number of celebrators over the holiday.

"I can tell you that in the past there have been blocks in the uptown area that were just filled with people, standing room only type situations," Lester said. "We never got to that this year. We didn't have any street blockages or closures, or anything."

Lester says they will likely maintain the high law enforcement numbers again next year and will try to get out the anti-drunk driving messages earlier than they did this year.

Sheriff Lester