Posted on October 31, 2012 at 6:54 AM
AUSTIN -- Halloween revelers will fill downtown Austin streets Wednesday evening and Austin police will be out with them, enforcing a night of “No Refusal.”
The initiative cracks down on suspected DWI offenses. Any driver suspected of driving while intoxicated will be required to submit either a breath or blood test. Those who refuse will be served with a search warrant, requiring a blood draw.
The Austin Police Department enforces ‘no refusal’ initiatives during most holiday events.
"I'm on the fence about it, I don't like the legality of it but if it helps keep people safer, that's a good thing," said Austin driver Pedro Solis.
In 2011 Halloween festivities stretched out over a weekend. APD held several days of “No Refusal.” In all officers arrested 59 drivers and made 38 blood draws.
This year APD is urging the public to secure a sober ride home.
Capital Metro is expanding its E-bus service to help get crowds home. Routes #410 in West Campus, #411 on Riverside and #412 on Main Campus will run until 3 a.m. Thursday. Other downtown bus routes will run until midnight.
"I have some mixed feelings about it. I really hope that everyone makes the right choice and if they've had too much to drink they call a cab service or a friend and get home safe, but I respect the law enforcement stance," said Austin driver Justin Brown.
The No Refusal initiative begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 5 a.m Thursday.
Police say the crackdown helps curb traffic tragedies. According to APD about 26 percent of last year's traffic fatalities were alcohol related.