'No Refusal' Fat Tuesday ends with 14 arrests

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 13 at 10:28 AM

AUSTIN -- Mardi Gras celebrations in downtown Austin are over, and the Austin Police Department is releasing arrest numbers from the festivities.

The department wrapped up its No Refusal DWI crackdown at 5 a.m. Wednesday. The APD Watch Commander says the DWI Unit reported 14 arrests made during the overnight initiative.
 
Hundreds came out to celebrate Fat Tuesday on 6th Street. Police barricaded the road to traffic and braced for the crowd. Bar owners have said the extra enforcement helps.
 
"Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. That's when the most trouble seems to arise," said John Korioth during previous Mardi Gras celebrations.
 
The arrests of 2013 were a bump compared to 2012 when APD reported 10 arrests during the Fat Tuesday No Refusal initiative.
 
The program means any suspected drunk driver who refuses a breath or blood test will instead be served with a search warrant for a mandatory blood draw.
 
According to state law, first time offenders who register with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

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