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North Texas No Refusal Weekend Starts Friday Night

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
Stephanie is an Emmy Award winning veteran reporter for CBS 11 N...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The beginning of the New Year’s holiday weekend in North Texas, also jumpstarts a crack down on drunk drivers.

Many North Texas police departments will begin their “no refusal” campaigns on Friday at 9 p.m.

“No refusal” means if drunk driving is suspected – the officer will ask the person behind the wheel to take a breath test.

“If that person then chooses to refuse to give a sample of his breath, the officer has the option to go get a search warrant and have blood drawn,” explains Lt. Steven Jones of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

This year, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department will not use its large mobile command center. Instead, 65 additional deputies will be out patrolling. Suspected drunk drivers will be taken to the county jail, where officers can ask a magistrate to sign a search warrant and order a blood alcohol test be given.

Parkland Hospital is working with law enforcement to urge motorists to designate a sober driver.

Dr. Alexander Eastman, interim chief of the hospital’s trauma center, has seen horrific injuries, alcohol poisoning and deaths as the result of excessive drinking.

He says he’d like to celebrate the New Year with no patients in his E.R.

“If you come to the trauma center injured, I guarantee you you’re going to spend much more money and much more time than that cab ride home.”

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