Kane County is cracking down on drunken driving on New Years Eve. The “no-refusal” operation places judges on call to grant police officers an instant warrant to draw blood from motorists arrested on charges of DUI if they refuse field sobriety tests.
Under Illinois law, drivers can’t refuse a blood draw when there is probable cause to suspect they are intoxicated. Refusing a judges warrant would subject drivers to a additional charges. The aim is to make it more difficult for repeat DUI offenders to keep their drivers license. Declining to provide a sample results in a suspension of driving privileges, but repeat offenders would often prefer a suspension instead of a revocation that would come with a second DUI conviction. Results from a blood draw would make it easier to convict the driver.
Former Kane County States Attorney John Barsanti started the program two years ago and the New Years Operation will be the sixth operation held this year. The program has reportedly been successful in stopping DUI’s during major holidays. The county last had a No-Refusal operation for the Fourth of July and police arrested a dozen motorist, including three with prior DUI’s.
Multiple police departments and municipalities are taking part in the program. However, the communities involved and the specific areas the police will be located are not announced beforehand. Law enforcement are trying to create the feeling that police could be anywhere so its not worth the risk to drive under the influence. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents remain the leading cause of death on the nation’s roads including annual spikes during the holiday season.