University of Montana quarterback Nate Montana, son of NFL great Joe Montana, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of drunken driving and speeding after his arrest early in the morning.
The 21-year-old Montana, who joined the UM football squad earlier this year, was arrested about 3:15 a.m. Friday after a Missoula County sheriff's deputy stopped his northbound car on Van Buren Street for allegedly driving 39 mph in a 25 mph zone.
Deputy Ken Guy was sitting in his cruiser at the corner of Holly and Van Buren streets when his radar picked up Montana's car.
The traffic stop turned into a DUI arrest when Guy smelled alcohol.
"He requested Montana's driver's license and noted that he was fumbling with it as he produced it," sheriff's Detective Jason Johnson said. "He also smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from the window."
At that point, Guy asked Montana to step out of the car and perform a variety of field maneuvers designed to test his sobrierty.
"He did poorly enough on those maneuvers for the deputy to ask him for the breath test," Johnson said. "Mr. Montana declined that test and he was detained."
Although there were several passengers in Montana's car, only he was taken to jail.
"No one else was cited," Johnson said. "He was the driver."
Montana then had to repeat the sobriety manuevers at the detention facility, allegedly performing poorly once again, Johnson said.
And once again, he declined to take the breath test.
"That's pretty common with DUI, so it's not a surprise," Johnson said.
Montana was then booked into the jail at 3:46 a.m. He posted bond of $685 about 30 minutes later and was released.
Montana appeared in Missoula County Justice Court on Friday afternoon with an attorney from the firm of Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind.
He pleaded not guilty to both charges and his next appearance was set for Aug. 3.
Milt Datsopoulos said neither Montana nor the firm would have an immediate comment on the charges.
"At this point, we really don't have any comment," Datsopoulos said. "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 had been told not to talk about the incident.
"We have advised Nate that he shouldn't be talking to anyone," Datsopoulos said.
The attorney said his firm had been contacted by Montana's family to represent the UM quarterback.
Montana, who played at his father's alma mater of Notre Dame, transferred to the University of Montana in February and is contending for the Grizzlies' starting quarterback position.
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.
Hundreds of news, sports and gossip websites publicized Montana's arrest on Friday, including the Washington Post, TMZ and ESPN.
"Joe Montana's Son - College QB Busted for DUI," blared the headline on TMZ.com, which cited "exclusive" sources in its report. "Hannah is not a suspect," quipped the headline at Deadspin.com. "Nate Montana, Joe Montana's Son, Arrested Again," said the celebrity news site lalate.com.