July 5, 2011
This Fourth of July holiday was another successful “No Refusal Weekend” in the state of Texas, according to authorities. The campaign allows for state police officers and troopers to require suspected drunk drivers to submit to a blood alcohol test. If the driver refuses, a warrant will be issued by a judge, requiring the driver to submit to the test.
According to the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, roughly half of all suspected drunk drivers refuse testing, posing admissibility of evidence problems for prosecutors. This campaign allows for administration of faster testing procedures.
According to MyFox Austin, the Austin Police Department had a busy weekend with drunk drivers, with 27 arrests on Friday night alone. Thirteen arrests were made on Saturday night, with 9 breath samples given and 4 blood samples submitted. Two of the blood tests were administered as a result of warrants issued through the program.
Law enforcement will continue the statewide effort through Monday night, and encourages anyone who includes alcohol in his or her festivities to use a designated driver.
National statistics show that 491 people died in car crashes over the holiday weekend in 2008, with alcohol listed as a contributing factor in a large majority.