DA Memorial Nonstop No Refusal Program nets 247 DWI-related arrests
Houston TX - The first nonstop Memorial Day Weekend No Refusal program resulted in the filing of 247 DWI-related charges in Harris County, District Attorney Patricia Lykos announced Friday.
Of the charges, 51 were against prior offenders now accused of their second or third DWI. Six other charges were for intoxicated driving with a child in the vehicle.
Brent Mayr, head of the District Attorney's Vehicular Crimes Section, reported that the No Refusal units obtained 51 search warrants to require tests for suspects, including 15 with prior DWI convictions.
He said overall statistics show that about half of the drivers typically decline voluntary DWI tests. During the No Refusal deployment, that refusal rate dropped to about one in every four motorists.
"This is a prime example of how effective these programs are," Mayr said. "It shows that people are getting the message that they can't avoid charges by refusing the tests."
There was one charge for the offense of Boating While Intoxicated, as part of the Houston Police Department's enforcement effort in the Lake Houston area. Other charges included one for intoxication assault, one for intoxication assault of a police officer, and one for intoxication manslaughter.
No Refusal relies on prosecutors, law enforcement officers and support personnel to expedite warrants from judges for prompt testing of suspects who refuse voluntary requests for tests of intoxicant levels in their blood.
Previous deployments had been in the evenings. The Memorial Day weekend operation went nonstop for the 72 hours that ended at 10 p.m. last Monday.