No refusal weekend begins in advance of July 4th holiday

June 28, 2012 10:03:34 AM PDT
A crackdown on drunk drivers is starting as authorities gear up for the Fourth of July holiday and a "no refusal weekend."

Law enforcement and prosecutors say July 4th has replaced New Year's Eve as the most deadly for alcohol-related crashes. But in some Texas jurisdictions, for example Montgomery County, the District Attorney's office says no refusal weekends have helped bring about a drop in intoxication manslaughter charges.

No refusal refers to prosecutors and judges standing ready at all hours to quickly issue warrants for a blood sample for those drivers who refuse other methods of sobriety testing.

A news conference Thursday announcing the launch of no refusal activities also introduced us to Jenny and Sean Carter. Sean was severely injured at the age of 22 in a drinking and driving crash. He had been drinking, and caught a ride with a friend who had been drinking even more.

The crash left him unable to walk or speak on his own and he now communicates with the help of a computer.

"If I knew then that the decision I would make the night of March 27, 2005, would affect the rest of my life, putting me here in this wheelchair, unable to walk or talk, you can bet I would not have done what I did," said Sean Carter.

"He worked hard, he studied hard, he played even harder and that's where the problem came in. He knew that he didn't want to go out a drive, he planned on getting drunk. But he didn't have that conversation with his driver to say, hey you're my designated driver, my life is in your hands," said Jenny Carter.

That was the crux of the message Thursday -- authorities know people are going to drink and celebrate, but they want them to make plans in advance as to how they are going to get home safely and not get behind the wheel after drinking.

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