North Texas Police Begin ‘No Refusal Weekend’

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) – North Texas police departments plan on giving drunk drivers jail time to start the new year.

This is a no refusal weekend.

Police departments across the Metroplex will draw blood from DWI suspects this weekend even without the driver’s consent.

Police officers have a game plan and extra help to catch drunk drivers this weekend.

“More eyes on the road, freeway enforcement, making sure there is compliance with state traffic laws,” said Fort Worth Police Officer Jimmy Pollozani.

Police will have have judges and nurses on standby to help.

If a DWI suspect refuses a breathalyzer or blood test, the judge will issue a warrant. The suspect can then be taken to a hospital where a nurse can draw blood without consent.

Police departments depend on state grants to fund no refusal operations.

“The smaller departments would have to pay for a judge,” Pollozani said. “So the grant covers that. The nurses working at the hospital where a blood draw is actually taking place. So there is a lot of money involved that the state actually invests in the counties to ensure safety of the citizens.”

Tarrant County in particular is familiar with no refusal days. Authorities there ramp up no refusal operations more often than any other Texas county.

“I believe there’s more than 10 events or holidays Tarrant County participates in,” Pollozani said. “March Madness being one. Cinco de Mayo. The rodeo show and stock show. St. Patty’s Day.”

Fort Worth police say they have extra motivation to enforce DWI laws. One of their own, officer Dwayne Freeto, was hit and killed by a drunk driver while helping a motorist back in 2006.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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