Rowlett police cracking down with no-refusal policy on DWIs

The Rowlett Police Department continues to crack down on impaired
driving with a no-refusal policy which went into effect Oct. 1, 2010.

Under the new policy, according to Rowlett Police Department Public Information Officer John Ellison, officers will ask for a blood specimen for testing anytime an officer believes the driver of a motor vehicle is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“If the driver refuses to provide a blood specimen, a search warrant will be
sought in each case in order to obtain the specimen,” he said.

From November, 2008, through October, 2010, Rowlett police officers implemented trial periods of “No Refusal Blood Draws” coinciding with the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) increased DWI holiday enforcement periods. Those holidays included New Year’s Eve and Day, Christmas, Memorial Day weekend, the 4th of July and the Labor Day weekend.

During those time periods, Ellison said officers obtained 187 blood specimens from persons suspected of Driving While Intoxicated.

“Of those, Rowlett Police Officers obtained 97 search warrants for blood specimens of suspects who refused the request for a voluntary blood specimen.”

He added that the conviction statistics that the department maintained during the initial pilot program confirmed that DWI cases involving blood specimens have a higher conviction rate than when a breath test is utilized at the time of the offense.

“Since the pilot program began, the department has maintained a conviction rate of 100 percent for DWI offenses in which a blood specimen was taken,” said Ellison.

“The story to take away from this is: “If you drink and drive in Rowlett, we will take your blood and you will be convicted of DWI.”

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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