St. Patrick's Day is Friday, and it's a traditional day of partying, with green beer and lots of other opportunities to overindulge in adult fun.

Missoula Police are encouraging party goers to celebrate responsibly. Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said police and other law enforcement agencies will have extra patrols throughout the St. Patrick's Day weekend.

"We are deploying officers who are tasked with detecting impaired drivers," Welsh said. "We'll also have foot beats out in the downtown area primarily looking for underage drinkers and issues related to alcohol consumption."

Welsh said it's important to remind drivers about the consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction.

"When an officer believes he has reasonable cause to pull over a driver suspected of impaired driving, they will ask for the driver's licence, registration and proof of insurance," he said. "If the officer notices an odor of alcohol, then he may ask the diver to step out and perform some sobriety maneuvers, and make a decision on whether or not to arrest the individual. The driver will then be booked into the Missoula County Jail, and if there are citations involved, that driver would have to appear in the court of jurisdiction."

There are many associated costs for a DUI conviction, including attorney’s fees, fines, higher auto insurance rates, traffic school, ignition interlock devices, towing and storage of your vehicle and bail. According to national statistics, the average cost of a drunk driving conviction is anywhere from $4,500 to $6,500.

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