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Police Enforcing "No Refusal" Programs

Jason Spears

New Years celebrations bring not only more drunk driving, but “no refusal” programs across North Texas. 

From Dallas to Tarrant County and departments across the region, police are enforcing no refusal campaigns. Dallas police launched its program last Friday and ends it Wednesday morning. Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Richard Alpert explains the “no refusal” program, which his county starts Monday night.

“If you have too much to drink and you’re behind the wheel of a car in Tarrant County,  odds are the police are going to find you. When they find you, they’ll investigate. If they place you under arrest they’re going to ask you to give blood so they can see how much alcohol you’ve consumed. If you say no, they’ll get a warrant and take it anyway,” Alpert says.

Alpert says Tarrant County ranks fourth statewide for alcohol related deaths and DWI arrests. He says that’s why the county just got state money to run “no refusal” campaigns through seven major holidays, not just two. He likes this program.

“The most dangerous times of year are the holiday periods. And in the last six years,  I’m not aware of fatalities we’ve had for New Years, at least during a "no refusal" program.  We definitely have a reduction in fatal injuries and serious injuries during the holidays. So from our standpoint it’s working.”

Police suggest drinkers plan ahead, even designating a driver who’ll stay sober. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.