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Montgomery Co. Expands ‘No Refusal’ To Include Labor Day

Montgomery County is expanding its "No Refusal" weekend to cover the Labor Day holiday. Starting this evening, and lasting through Monday night, suspected drunk drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer will face a court order to give up a blood sample.

In Montgomery County, every Friday and Saturday night is a “No Refusal” weekend.  But there are certain holidays, like Labor Day, when “No Refusal” becomes a three or four night event.  

Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Tyler Dunman says the process of getting a warrant to draw blood from a DWI suspect can take as little as 30 minutes — long before the suspect has sobered up.

“A response team that will actually meet the officer at the side of the road, if need be, with a nurse.  And we’re able to draft a warrant and e-mail it to a judge, who can respond.  And we can do the blood draw very quickly at the scene, if needed.”

Dunman says previous No Refusal periods show that DWI arrests actually fall when drivers realize they won’t be able to get around surrendering some sort of evidence that could show they’re drunk.

“We attributed that to people understanding the consequences of their actions, and being responsible, and making sure they have a way to get home without having to get on the road and drive intoxicated.”

It can cost as much as $15,000 to mount a defense against a DWI charge.  And, Dunman says, and there is almost always some jail time involved, even for a first offense.

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David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

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