Law Enforcement Teams Up For No Refusal Weekend
by: Pat Hernandez, December 23, 2011 11:12:00 pm
The No Refusal program will deploy countywide over the weekend to curb impaired motorists from harming other drivers.
"No Refusal operates in Harris County every single weekend, every single Friday and Saturday night."
That's Catherine Evans, Chief of the Harris County District Attorney's Vehicular Crimes section.
"What changes during the holidays at this point, is that we have added an extra night of No Refusal, and certainly the police enforcement during the holidays, increases. So, you have more officers on the street, looking to intercept those intoxicated drivers before they can hurt anybody."
Under the program, Harris County prosecutors team with police to request warrants for mandatory blood testing of suspected intoxicated drivers who refuse to submit to voluntary blood tests.
"At that point, that's when we step in. And we obtain a blood search warrant, present it to a judge, and once it's signed, a registered nurse will then take that blood sample — meaning that we'll have that evidence available for the prosecution."
Evans says there are more law enforcement officers out during this time than at any other time of the year.
"No refusal, truly is a county wide effort. We deal with more than 20 different law enforcement agencies, and all of the agencies really are looking forward to making sure that everybody stays safe, pulling the drunk drivers, the intoxicated drivers off the road, and then making sure that the evidence to prosecute them to the fullest is available."
According to government statistics, 40-percent of traffic related deaths during Christmas and New Year's involve drunk drivers. It claims more lives than at any other time of the year.