Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson recently revealed that his office has been awarded nearly half-million dollars in funding for the drunk driving no refusal program. The funding is provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), by way of a federal grant.
Under the no refusal initiative, a search warrant will be issued to draw the blood of any suspected intoxicated driver who refuses a breathalyzer or to give a blood sample.
In April, Harris County District Attorney's office became one of the first Houston area counties to enforce no refusal every day.
"One of the most sobering and disheartening titles that Harris County holds is that of the nation's leader in intoxicated related fatalities," said Alison Baimbridge, Chief of Vehicular Crimes in the Harris County DA's Office. "We must fight to protect our citizens and continue to make the people of Harris County aware of the dangers of impaired driving. By utilizing a 24/7 no refusal program, we can increase the awareness of this problem while also decreasing the number of injuries and fatalities. Our goal is always to make Harris County a safe place for our citizens to live and drive,"
The Harris County Commissioner's Court accepted the $408,485.56 grant from TxDOT, Aug. 27.
"The grant is extremely important to Harris County because it allows us to have the means by which to combat impaired driving and also to obtain the best evidence," said Baimbridge. "The no refusal grant also provides Harris County the opportunity to have the necessary resources to obtain that evidence in a centralized location for the officers, so that they can more efficiently reduce the number of DWI-related drivers on the roads of Harris County, Texas."
Harris County leads the nation in DWI fatalities. Officials said that the goal of every day no refusal is to try and lower the numbers, reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads and save lives.