It's a no-refusal Fourth of July weekend

June 30, 2011 4:11:56 PM PDT
The Fourth of July tops New Year's Eve as the number one holiday for alcohol-related fatal crashes. That's why Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and local officers are pushing for a state-wide no-refusal program this weekend. Potential drunk drivers beware. This 4th of July is a no refusal holiday in the Houston area and local officials are pushing for a state-wide campaign.

No refusal means that if a law officer pulls someone over on suspicion of drunk driving or drunk boating and asks for a breath test, you can't refuse. If you do, they will get a warrant for a blood draw. Harris County already has no refusal operations every weekend. Montgomery County will have no refusal operations over the next 10 days.

There is also a campaign to have no refusal weekends state-wide. That has spurred Galveston, Brazoria, Colorado, Wharton and Waller Counties to participate this weekend in the program. Montgomery County prosecutor Warren Diepraam says the best argument for the no-refusal is that it works.

"Scientific blood samples are very difficult for defense lawyers to defeat. Our conviction rate has increased significantly in DWI cases when we go to trial. Our conviction rate is 100 percent on no-refusal blood test cases," said Warren Diepraam with the Montgomery County DA's office. "Juries believe blood. They want scientific evidence and this weekend if you don't give it to them and you are a drunk driver, we'll give it to them."

At least 250 agencies are participating in the no refusal weekend state-wide holiday, it also includes the DPS and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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