The luck of the Irish was not with motorists who chose to drink and drive in Kane County as local police departments arrested 22 people during the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
The arrests came as the result of a no-refusal weekend throughout Kane County where motorists who were stopped didn't have the ability to refuse breath, blood or urine tests. A total of 13 police departments participated in the no-refusal weekend. The widespread effort resulted in seven times the arrests made during the county's last St. Patrick's Day no-refusal weekend in 2009.
Officers arrested several motorists with blood-alcohol concentrations well in excess of the .08 percent legal threshold to operate a motor vehicle. Eight of the 22 people arrested had blood alcohol concentrations at least twice the legal limit. Two motorists had concentrations more than three times the legal limit -- .277 and .301 percent.
"Although 22 DUIs is a higher number than we'd like to see, we are pleased that we were able to get BAC samples from everyone charged, and we are pleased that almost two dozen impaired drivers were removed from the roadways," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said. "This office has used the No-Refusal initiatives as a law-enforcement tool, and as a means to deter and educate about the dangers and consequences of drunken driving. In the past, publicity of no-refusals has had a deterrent effect. This time, the education process will take place in the courts."
Five of the 22 motorists receiving DUIs initially refused to provide blood alcohol samples. A search warrant was ultimately needed for three of the motorists.
Four of the 22 motorists were charged with felonies because they had previous DUI convictions. Eight of them had prior DUI arrests. And several of the detained motorists were caught driving on revoked or suspended licenses.
Eight of the arrests occurred in Aurora. Police arrested six motorists in Elgin. Carpentersville and St. Charles each arrested two motorists. Batavia, Montgomery, the Kane County Sheriff and Illinois State Police each arrested one motorist in their patrol territories.
Police departments in West Dundee, East Dundee, South Elgin, Gilberts and Geneva also participated.
The St. Patrick's weekend 2012 no-refusal initiative was the ninth to be conducted in Kane County. In the eight prior no-refusals, a total of 66 motorists were charged. Most have pleaded guilty to DUI, although many cases are pending.