Kane County authorities plan 'No Refusal' DUI patrol around St. Patrick's Day, with one change
Kane County prosecutors will work with local law enforcement the night of March 14 and early March 15 for the next "No Refusal" DUI patrol, and the first with the new policy to seek a one-year statutory license suspension if a driver initially refuses a chemical test but later consents after being presented with a warrant.
"The position we're taking is consistent with the language of the law and the intent behind it," McMahon said.
Next month's patrol will be the 25th "No Refusal" event, which was created with the rationale was that savvy or repeat DUI suspects would often refuse any testing to prevent police from collecting evidence that could lead to another conviction.
In a "No Refusal" event, if a driver refuses a breath test, prosecutors work with an on-call judge and phlebotomist to obtain a search warrant for a blood draw, cutting valuable time off the process before the driver can sober up.
If a driver still resists after a warrant is obtained, a blood draw can be obtained by force and he or she can be charged with obstruction of justice, a felony.
Authorities may pursue an automatic one-year driver's license suspension under state law if a driver is arrested on charges of DUI and refuses field sobriety tests or a breath test. Drivers arrested on charges of DUI after taking field sobriety tests and a providing chemical sample may still drive on a very limited basis, such as to and from work, while their cases are pending.
McMahon said his office will now pursue one-year summary suspensions for drivers who initially refuse but change their mind after the warrant is issued.
St. Patrick's Day patrols usually net the largest number of arrests, but the overall goal is to change people's behavior and encourage them to celebrate responsibly, and that's why authorities give several weeks notice, he said.
"There's literally a designated driver a click away on your cellphone," he said.
"No Refusal" patrols in the past have targeted days such as Super Bowl Sunday, July 4 and "Black Wednesday," and have resulted in more than 150 arrests.