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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County District Attorney's Office
Friday, January 28, 2011
DA's DWI Program Warns Drivers: Don't Make the Big Game a 'Stupor Bowl'
- District Attorney Patricia Lykos announced Friday that the No Refusal Program, which obtained 489 warrants for mandatory blood draws from intoxicated drivers last year, will deploy during the Feb. 4-6 Super Bowl weekend to help keep Harris County residents safe from the lethal threats of DWI motorists.
The alert follows 4 fatal crashes in December that led to criminal charges against intoxicated drivers.
Risks of DWI motorists typically rise during pre-Super Bowl festivities and the viewing of the game itself at private parties, sports bars or other drinking establishments. "As with all special occasions, enjoy the fun, but be smart and make sensible choices," said Catherine Evans, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Section of the District Attorney's Office. "Designate a driver or use a cab or make other plans. But don't decide to try to drive drunk."
That wrong decision was made by 13,324 Harris County drivers charged with DWI in all of 2010. It was a slight decrease of 464 from the total DWI-related charges filed the prior year.
In December, county-wide law enforcement support for the No Refusal Program was reflected in the 17 police agencies that obtained a total of 110 warrants for mandatory blood draws.
Agencies included the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and County Constable's Precincts 3, 4 and 8. The Houston Police Department had the highest number of warrants - 52. Other police departments obtaining No Refusal warrants included Tomball, Pasadena, Webster, La Porte, Friendswood, Bellaire, Deer Park, Humble, Port of Houston and Seabrook.
In the No Refusal program, prosecutors and support staff of the District Attorney's Office work with police officers. They can obtain the warrants requiring blood testing for DWI suspects who refuse to provide breath samples for testing levels of intoxication.
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