"No Refusal" policy now implemented in Cameron County

News Center 23

POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 3:40pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 10:06am

It's typically for some people to have a few drinks with friends over the holidays. But Cameron County residents should be much more cautious as of today, because those people are more likely to be prosecuted successfully if the choice is to drink and drive.

The District Attorney's office and the Brownsville Police Department are beginning a "No Refusal" policy.

"'No refusal' meaning that if you choose not to blow into an intoxilizer, then the chief of police and his men will get a search warrant and draw blood from you," said Cameron County DA Luis Saenz.

"We have that authority to be able to get that search warrant if you're suspected of driving while intoxicated, so I think if you add up the costs, it can be very high, but the highest cost would be a loss of life," said Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez.

This campaign comes after statistics showed that more than 200 alcohol-related driving accidents occurred in Brownsville last year.

if you're coming from a holiday party where you've had a few drinks, official suggest getting a designated driver, or making prior arrangements instead of getting behind the wheel.

"If you're gonna go to a party where obviously there's alcohol that's gonna be served, make arrangements beforehand to get home safely," said Rodriguez. "We want to keep people safe."

And while the consequences may seem harsh, the mission is to reduce DWI casualties.

"This non-refusal campaign is to deliver a message, but mostly to keep the streets safe," said Rodriguez. "If party-goers will be responsible, I think we'll have a safe holiday season."

"We just want people to have fun, but we want everybody to be safe," said Saenz.

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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