ROCKWALL – Law Enforcement agencies from across Rockwall County will again conduct a DWI-No Refusal Program during the July 4th holiday, between Friday, June 29th at 12:01 a.m. to Monday, July 9th, at Noon, to attempt to keep roads safe.
According to Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, drivers who are suspected of drinking and driving, but who refuse to provide either a breath or blood sample, will be taken by officers to either Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall or Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett, where trained phlebotomists will draw their blood in a safe and sanitary manner.
Warrants will first be obtained by officers from Rockwall County Judge Brian Williams, Rockwall Municipal Judge Cathy Penn, Royse City Municipal Judge Paul Liston and McLendon-Chisholm Municipal Judge Andrew Leonie, who will work in shifts to review and consider the approval of the blood draw warrants.
The Rockwall County Commissioner’s Court will reimburse the cities for judges’ overtime costs, and Judge Williams and prosecutors have agreed to work without overtime compensation in order to make the program a success.
Evidence drawn is then sent to an accredited lab to determine the driver’s blood alcohol level.
Culpepper said the No Refusal program has been successful since it was started four years ago and there has been an increase in the number of designated drivers.
“We began this course of action when I was elected four years ago,” she said. “During that time, law enforcement has seen a steady increase in the number of people who rely on designated drivers. We attribute these numbers directly to news coverage of the holiday program and to the increased presence of law enforcement on the roads. We look forward to the continued success of this program.”
Law enforcement agencies involved in the program are the Rockwall, Royse City and Rowlett Police Departments; Heath Department of Public Safety, Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office, Rockwall County Constables, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
By J.J. Smith, Publisher