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Harris Co. Gets Grant To Expand ‘No Refusal’ DWI Enforcement

Nearly $450k will pay for extra people to catch and prosecute DWI suspects.

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For more than a year, Harris County has had a 24/7 “No Refusal” policy.  That means any suspected drunk driver who refuses a Breathalyzer test could have a blood sample drawn under a court order.  But it’s only on the weekends when the county can afford the extra staff to get everything done quickly. 

“The grant will allow us to add additional nights,” said Alison Baimbridge, chief of the vehicular crimes section at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.  The $450,000 grant will pay for more prosecutors and judges to get the blood sample warrants, and more nurses to draw the blood. 

“So we’ll be able to regularly add a Thursday night to have those additional people on call to expedite the evidence — instead of having an officer have to come to our office, and get a warrant, and take the suspect to a hospital, which takes a longer amount of time to get the evidence,” Baimbridge said. 

Money from the latest grant will become available in October. Baimbridge says she hopes the latest grant will make a difference in what has, so far, been a bad year in Harris County — with 32 DWI fatalities between January and June.

 

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David Pitman

David Pitman

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David was HPM’s local Morning Edition host from 2009 to 2020 -- when he was moved to the position of Technical Director of Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, and Town Square with Ernie Manouse. David has extensive public and commercial broadcast journalism and production experience dating back to 1993 –...

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