Research Shows No Refusal DWI Initiative Days Ineffective — Austin, Texas to Increase Enforcement



cbs high res 150x150 brooks schuelke

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 19, 2018 – Inebriated driving is a serious problem in Texas, so much so, that police have implemented No Refusal DWI Initiative days in an attempt to prevent people from drinking and driving.

In Austin, No Refusal days usually run holidays and weekends, with police able to obtain warrants to draw blood for drivers refusing sobriety tests during a DWI stop. This year, the Austin Police Department will start No Refusal days in the middle of the afternoon, during 2018’s South by Southwest (SXSW) to catch intoxicated drivers. The No Refusal days initiative began in 2005.

In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began disbursing grants to law enforcement agencies and over the past ten years has handed out over $410 million on various anti intoxicated driving programs. Most of the funds, which come from the federal government, are used on DWI campaigns and given to police departments asking for No Refusal days grants for more resources and staff. In 2017, the Austin Police Department received federal support funds of about $1.5 million for 142 No Refusal days — a record number of enforcement days.

Some research indicates that DWI crashes are actually higher on No Refusal days than during a regular day. For instance, 2017 data showed a 42 percent increase in DWI collisions on No Refusal days when compared to days when the campaign was not enforced. “This begs the question of whether or not No Refusal days are working,” pointed out Austin wrongful death attorney, Brooks Schuelke. Austin Police however feel No Refusal days are effective and more drivers are consenting to breath and blood testing.

According to a TxDOT study to evaluate No Refusal day’s effectiveness, the results were not clear and the Director of the Center for Alcohol & Drug Education Studies at Texas A&M, Troy Walden stated, “I think the jury’s still out.”

“The long and short of these No Refusal days is that there still needs to be more research to determine how effective they are,” added Schuelke. “In the meantime, if they make a difference, then they are important for the community.”

For those who have been involved in a fatal collision with a drunk driver, it is best to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney about filing a lawsuit. In situations like that, the criminal charges would move forward first, while the civil wrongful death lawsuit could follow.

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