The Austin Police Department announced Thursday that it will begin enforcing a year-long “No Refusal” initiative next month in an effort to curb drunk driving accidents.
According to CBS Austin, the initiative will launch October 1 and will run a full year until September 2022. The initiative will be active every week, Thursday through Sunday with additional enforcement periods during holidays and special events.
“No Refusal” initiatives allow law enforcement to obtain search warrants for blood samples from suspected drunk and impaired drivers who refuse to voluntarily submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.
The Austin Transportation Department and Austin PD will refer to crash analysis data to determine priority dates and locations for enforcement.
“No Refusal is not about making as many arrests as we can,” APD Assistant Chief Robin Henderson said. “It’s a deterrent to keep impaired drivers off of Austin’s roadways and keep the public safe. No Refusal ensures that we have solid blood alcohol content evidence in every DWI arrest and, as such, enhances the ability to prosecute drunk drivers.”
According to CBS Austin, intoxication is a driver in more than one-third of all fatal crashes recorded in Austin. Past “No Refusal” initiatives have netted numerous arrests over the years, with more than 1,250 DWI arrests being recorded during program periods last year.
Texas Drunk Driving Statistics
The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
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