‘No refusal’ now in effect every weekend through September

FILE - Austin police vehicle (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin police vehicle (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Department’s “no refusal” initiative will now be in place every weekend, as the department expands its crackdown on drunk driving.

From Friday to Sunday each weekend — 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day — detectives will be available to apply for a blood search warrant for those suspected of driving while intoxicated and who refuse to give a sample of breath or blood.

Austin police are expanding the initiative beyond holidays and special events “to deter drinking and driving when it is most likely to occur.” Grants from the Texas Department of Transportation made the initiative possible.

“No Refusal is not about making as many arrests as we can,” said Lt. Blake Johnson with APD’s Highway Enforcement Unit. “It is about keeping unsafe drivers off Austin roadways and keeping the public safe. No Refusal ensures that we have solid blood alcohol content evidence of every arrest and as such enhances our ability to prosecute people who drive drunk and put others in danger.”

Police want drivers to make responsible choices not to drive if they are impaired in any way. “Know before you go, get home safe,” they say.

During the month of March—for Spring Break and SXSW— the department also conducted an extended no refusal that ran for 18 days. During that timeframe, police say they arrested and charged 202 people with DWI during the hours of 9 p.m.-5 a.m.

For the no refusal period during Super Bowl weekend, 50 drivers were arrested in Austin on charges of driving while intoxicated.

 

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