The first “No Refusal” event held in Kane County on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving netted 14 DUI arrests and had a record number of 17 agencies participating, State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said Tuesday during his monthly media meeting.
One person refused a chemical test even after a warrant was issued and was charged with felony obstruction of justice.
The Thanksgiving eve tally is higher than the four arrests made in the “No Refusal” event held the weekend before Halloween and the highest since 22 were arrested last St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
“That night is a night of heavy consumption of alcohol,” McMahon said of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
McMahon announces “No Refusal” events in advance in hopes people will make alternate arrangements to get home other than driving themselves.
“Our goal is zero (arrests),” he said, saying that would ultimately mean people are heeding warnings. “We want people to go out and have a good time and get home safely. We’d all like our roads to be as safe as possible.”
In a “No Refusal” night authorities set up roadside checkpoints and randomly test drivers.
Prosecutors fan out to police stations and a judge and phlebotomist are on call. If a person arrested on charges of drunken driving is brought to the police station and refuses, prosecutors work with police to obtain a search warrant for a chemical test, either a breath sample or blood draw.
In the recent “No Refusal” three people initially refused tests. After warrants were obtained, one took a breath test, one had blood drawn and one continued to refuse, prompting the felony charges.
McMahon said two first time agencies that participated were Huntley and Pingree Grove police.
He declined to elaborate if a “No Refusal” event would be held near New Year’s Eve.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.