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‘No Refusal’ weekend under way in Grundy County

Search warrants could compel suspected drunk drivers to submit to chemical testing

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 6:40 p.m. CDT

Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland’s office is working with local law enforcement to conduct a “No Refusal” Memorial Day Weekend.

Through Monday, May 27, local law enforcement will be out in full force conducting “no refusal” stops on suspected drunken drivers throughout Grundy County. Throughout the holiday weekend, police may seek search warrants from a judge to require any motorist suspected of DUI to submit to a chemical test.

That means if an offender gets pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, he or she will be given the opportunity to submit to a breath test. If the offender refuses a breath test, a warrant will be secured by the state’s attorney’s office to take a chemical test from the offender to determine their blood-alcohol concentration — the results of which will be used against them in court.

Those who refuse to comply with the search warrant will be charged with obstructing justice, a Class 4 felony punishable up to three years in prison.

Helland stressed that “No Refusal” events are not the same as a roadside safety checkpoint, where police set up a roadblock and pull over every fifth vehicle to check for seat belts, proof of insurance and drunk drivers. On a “No Refusal” night, police patrol the streets like they normally would.

“The holidays are a dangerous time to be on the road, and the Memorial Day weekend proves to be one of the deadliest every year,” said Helland.

According to the National High-way Traffic Safety Administration, 397 people died in crashes over Memorial Day weekend in 2010. Over 40 percent of those traffic crashes were alcohol-related.

In order to prevent these tragedies from occurring, law enforcement will be out in extra numbers in Grundy County this weekend.

“While Memorial Day Weekend has been traditionally known for having barbecues, waxing cars, and opening swimming pools, it has also become synonymous with law enforcement cracking down on impaired driving,” Helland noted.

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