Law enforcement officers crack down on drunk drivers over July Fourth weekend

Investigators say this is largest "no refusal" effort for Fort Bend County

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - More state troopers and local law enforcement officers will be out on the roads this Fourth of July weekend looking for drunk drivers.

Investigators told Local 2 this will be the largest "no refusal" effort Fort Bend County has ever seen.

"Basically we're trying to spread no refusal all over Southeast Texas, because it's been such a successful program in finding and convicting drunk drivers and making the roads safer," said Warren Diepraam with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

"No refusal" means a driver pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated must provide police with a breath or blood sample.

If the driver refuses, a warrant will be issued that gives law enforcement officials the authority to collect the sample anyway.

Officers in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties will be enforcing the "no refusal" weekend through Sunday.

Montgomery County is so serious about cracking down on drunk drivers, they've even doubled the fines for offenders. Instead of the typical $750 fine, violators could end up paying as much as $1,800 if they're caught over the July Fourth holiday weekend.

"In Montgomery County, our DWI fatality rate is down about 50 percent since we started no refusal on a significant basis," Diepraam said. "This is one of the deadliest times of the year to be out on the roads. We want people to get out and celebrate and have fun, and not have to worry about a drunk driver coming along and taking out a family."

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