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Mardi Gras 2011 Sees Austin Police Out for Blood Again

Posted by Brian Tillman on 8 March 2011

Once again, the Austin Police Department raised the ante on drunk drivers by initiating TWO no refusal nights over this Mardi Gras week. As announced in the Blotter on March 3, policestationed a magistrate at the DWI processingBATBUS from 9 pm to 5 am on Saturday night, March 5.

This “No-refusal” initiative, becoming a tradition in Austin lately, means that officers can ask the judge for a search warrant to draw blood if a suspect refuses to submit a sample. If the judge finds probable cause (and let’s just say it doesn’t take much) then police havea sample drawn whether you like it or not. Yes, with a needle in your arm.

On Saturday night, police collected nine (9) breath tests and fourteen (14) blood draws, TEN of whichwere taken from peopleinvoluntarily pursuant to a search warrant. (Source:Daily Texan) That means almost half of the DWI samples obtained on Saturday night involved sticking someone with a needle. I’m sure this is gaining popularity with the public as much as it is with the DWI task force, right?

To top it off, that’s not the end of it! APD generally announces these in connection with holidays associated with drinking (Super Bowl, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Memorial Day, etc.). This time, the Saturday was just tacked on because it preceded Fat Tuesday (tonight), so they got a double whammy. As of this writing, the magistrate has been sitting on duty for about an hour. I guess this will only be warning to our Twitter followers, sorry for the late notice. As it stands right now, you might just start planning on staying home for the festive holidays, to be followed by staying home for nice dinners with wine, andwatching your live music at home on TV instead of at a venuewhere alcohol is available. Drive at your own risk, or face the needle.




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