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This July 4th weekend, law enforcement agencies in Galveston County will participate in our second "No Refusal" weekend for individuals arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated. In an effort organized by our office and supported by MADD, BACODA, and law enforcement agencies throughout the county, an increased number of officers will be on patrol for DWI offenders this holiday weekend.
The Dickinson Police Department will be the host agency for the operation and those individuals arrested for DWI will have the opportunity to voluntarily provide a sample of their breath or blood to assist in determining their level of intoxication. Should an arrestee refuse to voluntarily submit a sample, we will have prosecutors, nurses and judges present to facilitate the collection of blood samples.
Our first No Refusal July 4th weekend in 2008 resulted in 26 arrests, and in those cases where a warrant was obtained to secure a sample of a driver's blood, the average blood alcohol content was found to be .15, nearly twice the legal limit.
The need for the program is clear, as more than 1,200 DWI cases are filed per year in Galveston County and even more significant, there are on average eight (8) Intoxicated related deaths or Intoxicated Assault cases filed each year, all senseless tragedies resulting from a decision making process that is impaired from the beginning.
Obviously, we want intoxicated drivers to think twice before making a decision to drive and to accept that the supposed reasoned decision that "I'm just going home, it's not that far; I can make it.no big deal", is tragically flawed.
There is absolutely no reason for another family to experience the loss of a loved one at the hands of an intoxicated driver, and all of us in law enforcement hope that the coordinated efforts this weekend will bring awareness to the need to make the right choice from the beginning, to make the call for a designated driver when needed.
You have a choice. If you drink, don't drive.