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Tarrant County Implements 'No Refusal' Program Year-Round

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - "No Refusal" is no longer just a policy for holiday weekends in Tarrant County.

Twenty police agencies backed the district attorney and sheriff Wednesday announcing the impaired driving enforcement is now the standard every day, year-round.

Often announced ahead of major holidays, the program means officers will get warrants for a blood test, when drivers suspected of being under the influence refuse to take a breath test.

District Attorney Sharen Wilson said the expanded program was not in response to an increase in DWI activity, but simply recognition that the problem exists year-round.

Agencies have used grants in the past to cover the extra cost of "No Refusal" enforcements. The additional time required by officers, magistrates and nurses for tests can quickly add up.

Wilson said when discussions about expansions started about six to eight months ago, her office realized most municipalities were already seeking warrants on a regular basis.

"So they had in their budgets, already found a way to do that," she said. "So we're counting on them to be able to continue with that, and that's the promise today."

Haltom City Police Chief Cody Phillips said his agency has considered blood test warrants to be standard for as long as 10 years. Each city will have a choice to participate. As the chairman of the Tarrant County Law Enforcement Executive Association, Phillips said the majority of the 41 cities have elected to participate.

Bexar County has had a similar policy in place since at least 2011. The Dallas County Sheriff's office confirmed it also follows a "No Refusal" policy year-round.


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