Driving drunk on Super Bowl Sunday? Police will be watching

01/31/2014 1:42 PM

01/31/2014 1:43 PM

Police officers in Tarrant County will be out in force looking for drunken drivers during and after Sunday’s Super Bowl.

As part of the crackdown, the county is implementing its “No Refusal” campaign from 9:30 p.m. Sunday through 5:30 a.m. Monday. Police will use search warrants to take blood samples from people who are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated but refuse to take a blood or breath test.

On last year’s Super Bowl weekend, a similar campaign saw 17 DWI cases.

“For me, for one day, that’s a high number,” Tarrant County prosecutor Richard Alpert said. “It’s a high-maintenance day and I expect we will get as many or more cases after the day is over.

“I hope people will choose to enjoy the Super Bowl and spend the night in bed instead of in jail.”

The county’s “No Refusal” campaigns are funded by grants and include all major holidays in addition to the Super Bowl, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

Those arrested and charged during a “No Refusal” initiative will have their names and ages published on the district attorney’s website.

Alpert said people should draw no conclusions from high-profile DWI cases in which those arrested received probation.

In December, a Tarrant County juvenile court sentenced Ethan Couch, 16, to 10 years’ probation after he admitted responsibility for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed four people and injured others.

And last week, a Dallas County court gave former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation after he was convicted of intoxication manslaughter for a wreck that killed his best friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr.

“If it’s not a juvenile case, Tarrant County jurors typically send those people to prison,” Alpert said, citing Walter Chidyausiku, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday in an intoxication manslaughter case that killed a 10-year-old boy. “They need to take a look at our local statistics.”

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