A Holiday Crack Down on DWI

The Harris County District Attorney’s office
wants to make sure holiday cheer does not
extend to streets and highways.

The anti-DWI “No Refusal” program will be
enforced through the new year.

Rod Rice reports.

A lot of people think they can avoid a DWI arrest by refusing a breath analysis or a blood test.  The Chief of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Section says that is not the case. Catherine Evans says you’ve already agreed to the tests by getting a driver license.

“Most people don’t realize there’s deemed consent to provide a breath or blood sample if and when they are arrested for an intoxicated driving offense.”

That means it’s relatively easy to get a search warrant for a blood sample. The problem is takes time to get the warrant and then go to a hospital and draw blood.  The No Refusal program has everyone at a central location making the process more efficient.

The program has been used for several years now and Evans says it is getting the message out that if you revoke consent for a breath or blood sample, a warrant will be issued for them in short order.

Evans says speeding up the process benefits more then just prosecutors.

“So it can help to, frankly, move people through the system or out of the system more quickly if they are they are not in fact driving while intoxicated.”

Evans says the program is working. In the four holidays it’s been in effect this year more than 900 DWI related charges have been filed.