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updated: 11/10/2013 4:32 PM

Kane Co. plans 'No Refusal' DUI patrol on day before Thanksgiving

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The Kane County State's Attorney's Office will hold its next "No Refusal" event on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving.

Also known as "Black Wednesday," it is considered one of the biggest drinking days of the year.

"Historically, this is a popular night (for drinking)," said State's Attorney Joe McMahon.

During a No Refusal event, prosecutors from Kane County fan out to area police departments, ready to prepare a search warrant in case a motorist under arrest for DUI refuses a breath test.

If an arrestee refuses, prosecutors contact an on-call judge for a warrant, then an on-call phlebotomist to obtain a blood draw. If a person still refuses, felony obstruction of justice charges may be filed.

Last year was the first time Kane authorities held a No Refusal event on the day before Thanksgiving. Seventeen law enforcement agencies participated, and 14 drunken driving arrests were made.

"That is a significant number. It's a good reason why we should do it again," McMahon said.

Other No Refusal events have occurred on Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. Overall, the state's attorney's office has held 14 No Refusal events since 2008.

McMahon said his office gives advance notice so people will make alternative plans to get home or have a designated driver.

Man cleared of assault charges: A 49-year-old Batavia man and felon who was accused of beating and threatening an 80-year-old woman with a knife in December 2012 when she tried to call 911 was found not guilty of a variety of domestic charges.

A Kane County jury recently acquitted John A. Cunningham, of the 700 block of Fabyan Parkway, of aggravated battery to a senior citizen, a felony that carries a prison term of up to seven years.

He also was found not guilty of aggravated battery, and two counts of domestic battery, according to court records.

However, Cunningham was convicted of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, a misdemeanor. The Batavia man, who has four previous felony convictions in Kane County, was fined $490 and released from the Kane County jail after spending 322 days there awaiting trial on $75,000 bail, records show.

Before trial, prosecutors dropped the most serious charges of armed violence, a felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of probation.

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