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updated: 10/10/2012 4:17 PM

Kane to hold 'No Refusal' patrol before Halloween, Thanksgiving

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  • Joe McMahon

      Joe McMahon

 
 

The Kane County State's Attorney's Office will hold "No Refusal" DUI events on the weekend before Halloween and also the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest party nights of the year.

Nov. 21 will mark the first time a "No Refusal" event has been held the day before Thanksgiving, which is another first for Joe McMahon's office.

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The other first came in February when a "No Refusal" was held on Super Bowl Sunday.

"We selected these dates because in our experience those dates represent an increase in drinking and driving," McMahon said Wednesday. "(The Wednesday before Thanksgiving) seems like a big night for people going out, especially for young adults attending college."

In a "No Refusal" event, there are not random roadblocks or traffic safety checkpoints, but police are on increased DUI patrol.

Prosecutors from McMahon's office are stationed at various police departments across the county. A judge also is on call, as well as a phlebotomist to draw blood if needed.

If police make a drunken-driving arrest and the motorist refuses to give a breath test or blood sample, prosecutors will ask the judge to issue a search warrant allowing the phlebotomist to draw blood.

DUI offenders, especially those with previous arrests, often refuse chemical tests in an effort to prevent authorities from collecting evidence. Having prosecutors and a judge on call allows authorities to gather evidence faster and before the offender sobers up.

The pre-Halloween "No Refusal" events will be held the nights of Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, and extending beyond midnight.

Those, and the pre-Thankgiving event, will be the third and fourth held this year and the 10th and 11th organized by McMahon's office since he was appointed state's attorney in late 2010.

The other "No Refusal" events held this year were on St. Patrick's Day and the evening of the Super Bowl.

Overall, 87 people have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol during the previous nine "No Refusal" events since McMahon took office, officials said.

"The idea here is to give people notice of these events. We are not trying to interfere with people who responsibly go out and celebrate with friends," McMahon said.

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