Beginning Wednesday and running through July 4, law enforcement across Texas sought warrants to draw blood for any driver suspected of drinking and who refused to provide a breath sample. There is a precedent for such tactics, officials have seen results from such programs in Montgomery County, Tarrant County and other areas and decided it is something that needs to go statewide.
During a no-refusal time period, if a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, officers can quickly obtain warrants to take the suspect to a nearby hospital for blood testing. Several counties are boosting the number of no-refusal days a year; in San Antonio, every weekend is no-refusal, and Comal County is currently enforcing a no-refusal summer.
2011 marked the first Texas-wide no-refusal weekend for July 4th. Texas Highway Patrol and local city and county police departments joined forces to prevent drunk driving. As a result, of the stepped-up efforts, 73 Austin drivers were arrested for DWI during the holiday weekend. This would not be possible without a grant that allowed for Texas police officers the ability to stay out in force throughout the weekend. Of 1,406 arrests in Texas made during the weekend, 575 of them were made by state grant funded troopers.
In Austin, fourteen people were arrested on DWI charges Monday night as part of the city’s four-day operation. Of the 14 arrests Monday night, eight people required blood draws, and the others provided breath tests, said Austin police Sgt. Keith Bazzle. Nineteen people were arrested on DWI charges Sunday, 13 on Saturday and 27 on Friday, officials said.
Police Chief Art Acevedo deemed the weekend a huge success, claiming that no-refusal time periods are a powerful deterrent. However, he reported having no plans to make Austin a no-refusal city, like other areas that are no-refusal all the time. But it is being said that as officials review statistics from that weekend, they might realize what a good idea they had.
If you are arrested in Texas for a DWI contact Texas DWI Lawyer David Hunter.