MISSOULA – The son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding after an early morning traffic stop in which he declined a breathalyzer test.
Nate Montana, 21, was arrested in Missoula about 3:15 a.m. Friday and booked on a first-offense DUI charge. He was released a half-hour later after posting a $685 bond and entered his not guilty plea in an initial court appearance Friday afternoon.
Montana’s attorney, Milt Datsopoulos, told the Missoulian that neither he nor the University of Montana quarterback had an immediate comment on the charges.
“We don’t really have any information, but we will be gathering that information quickly. When we have some information, we will make a statement,” Datsopoulos said.
Montana transferred from Notre Dame in February and is vying for the starting quarterback spot. He was one of 11 Notre Dame athletes arrested on misdemeanor charges of underage drinking at a party in South Bend, Ind., last July.
A Missoula County sheriff’s deputy initially stopped Montana’s car for driving 39 mph in a 25 mph zone, authorities said. The deputy smelled alcohol coming from the car and asked Montana to perform a field sobriety test, said sheriff’s detective Jason Johnson.
“He did poorly enough on those maneuvers for the deputy to ask him for the breath test,” Johnson told the Missoulian. “Mr. Montana declined that test and he was detained.”
Montana repeated the field sobriety test at the detention facility and again declined to take a breath test, Johnson said.
Several passengers were in the car, but Montana was the driver and the only person cited.
His next court appearance has been set for Aug. 3.
University of Montana Executive Vice President Jim Foley said the administration will continue to monitor the judicial process and any discipline will be handled internally.
Meanwhile, UM athletic director Jim O’Day, citing privacy laws, echoed Foley’s statement.
“We always have to remember that we have to let these situations run their course in the judicial system, and then we can make the appropriate penalties and enforce them.”
O’Day said punishment for breaking the university’s student-athlete code of conduct could be anything from scholarship loss to being kicked off the team.
He confirmed that Montana is not a scholarship athlete.
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