A long weekend that semi-officially marks the end of summer is a good cause to celebrate, but unfortunately too often that celebrating can get dangerous.
In an effort to crack down on the danger, local law-enforcement agencies are making sure the public is aware that there will be increased emphasis on DWI offenses this weekend.
So watch out.
Harris County will be using state funds to staff a No-Refusal weekend, one in which it's harder for an impaired driver to escape a ticket by saying no to a breathalyzer.
Says the county:
Under the No Refusal program, assistant district attorneys partner with medical personnel and law enforcement officers who conduct special DWI enforcement patrols. State law authorizes the teams to obtain search warrants to draw blood samples from suspected DWI motorists who refuse voluntary breath tests. This program ensures that prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence need to effectively prosecute impaired drivers.
District Attorney Pat Lykos says the hammer will come down, but not at the cost of a legitimate good time.
"Texans like to work hard and play hard -- but getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs both threatens and steals innocent lives," Lykos said. "If you violate the basic social contract to respect the rights of others, we will do everything in our power to make certain you pay the price."
Harris County's upcoming No Refusal weekend will be in effect from Friday, August 31st through Monday, September 3rd.
"Enjoy the holiday but do so responsibly," Lykos added. "If you are going to be drinking, either designate a sober driver or call a cab -- or your next job may be steering a mop around a prison floor."
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Montgomery County is also having a crackdown, and posting results on its Twitter page, such as this update from last weekend:
MCDA/TXDOT No Refusal 8/25: 13 DWIs, 8 repeat offenders, 2 warrants, test avg=0.15, 0 fatalities.