It might not be as helpful as a huge increase in retail sales, but the Harris County DA's office is reporting a big spike in DWI arrests last weekend. (We guess it could be considered "helpful" if you were driving on the same road as some of those arrested.)
The second weekend of the joint "No Refusal" program, in which cops, prosecutors, judges and nurses combine to draw the blood right away of anyone who refuses to blow into a Breathalyzer (and happens to be driving near where one of the "No Refusal" set-ups are), saw a 50 percent jump in arrests.
The weekend of December 10, 123 DWI-related charges wer filed. This past weekend, that grew to 189.
"As we get closer to Christmas itself, and New Year's Eve, we're definitely seeing a jump in DWI-related offenses," said Catherine Evans, chief of the DA's vehicular crimes section.
Combined with Thanksgiving, the program has resulted in 450 DWI-related charges, the DA's office says. And 81 of those involved, as they put it, "search warrants for mandatory testing," which means "we're getting the evidence one way or another, dude."
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We know someone who's probably happy about all this, besides the people who aren't being threatened by drunk drivers.