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Harris County
Harris County District Attorney's Office
News Release
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Intoxicated Boaters and Daytime Drivers Beware:
DA to Conduct First Marathon Memorial "No Refusal" Weekend

Houston - The Harris County District Attorney's Office and area police will launch the first-ever marathon Memorial Day "No Refusal" program to target intoxicated drivers and boaters throughout the holiday weekend, District Attorney Patricia Lykos announced Wednesday.

The Memorial Weekend 72-hour No Refusal Program will run continuously from 10 p.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Monday. The holiday deployment will be "Memorial" because:

  • It operates nonstop at key area locations throughout the entire three days of the holiday weekend. This expands on the prior evening-only hours of earlier programs.
  • Intoxicated boating suspects will be subject to the same No Refusal testing and enforcement. During daytime hours, the special Houston Police Department blood alcohol testing unit - the BAT Mobile - will be stationed at Lake Houston for mandatory tests of suspected intoxicated boaters.
  • HPD's Lake Houston work will be in conjunction with Montgomery County law enforcement and that DA's Office's focus on the Lake Conroe area.
The No Refusal program relies on police, prosecutors, nurses and judges. Warrants can be promptly obtained to require tests for suspects who refuse to voluntarily submit to blood or breath testing to determine levels of alcohol or other intoxicants in their systems.

The 2008 No Refusal Program operated during nights of the Memorial Day weekend in 2008. It resulted in DWI charges on164 drivers -- 48 of them were repeat offenders. Brent Mayr, who heads the Harris County District Attorney's Vehicular Crimes Unit, said the expanded 2009 version is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of DWIs and dispel old myths that drinking drivers can dodge charges by refusing intoxication tests.

"The message on this Memorial Day weekend is that it is not worth it for you to risk a DWI - if you are drinking, it doesn't matter if you are driving at midnight or boating at noon," Mayr said. "We'll be ready for you."



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