‘No Refusal’ weekend brings in 50 arrests

Aziza Musa

Austin Police Department arrested 50 people during the Halloween “No Refusal” weekend.

APD implemented the policy for Friday and Saturday nights, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., expecting large crowds. Of those arrested, 24 provided breath samples and 21 required blood search warrants, APD senior police officer Dennis Farris said. There were also four mandatory blood draws, and one person consented to a blood draw.

Farris said nearly 82 percent of the breath samples from Saturday showed alcohol contents over the legal limit of .08 and that APD will receive the blood test results in about a week.

“No Refusal” began on Halloween 2008 and allows officers to draw blood samples, with a warrant signed by an on-call judge, to test for intoxication during high alcohol consumption nights if a suspect refuses to provide a blood or breath sample. APD obtained 26 search warrants during the 2008 weekend and 29 the year after.

APD is not trying discouraging drinking, but drunken driving, Farris said.

“Get a designated driver or take a cab,” he said. “A cab is much cheaper than a DWI arrest.”