Editorials

DWI ‘no refusal’ period is about to start

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

An officer administers a field sobriety test to a driver who was pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
An officer administers a field sobriety test to a driver who was pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Star-Telegram

The numbers on intoxicated drivers this time of year are alarming:

▪ Tarrant County prosecutors filed 132 DWI cases against drivers during the holiday season a year ago, more than a third of whom tested more than double the 0.08 percent blood alcohol limit.

▪ Tarrant County saw 1,624 DWI-related vehicle crashes in 2014.

▪ The casualty total was 47 people killed and 115 seriously injured.

▪ Across Texas last year, 1,041 people died and 2,328 were seriously injured in DWI crashes.

The solution is not hard to see: If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Get a sober person to give you a ride.

But the numbers repeat every year. So, local law enforcement officers and Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson are warning drivers about the consequences.

A “no refusal” effort targeting intoxicated drivers begins at 9 p.m. Thursday and lasts until 5:30 a.m. Jan. 2.

Suspected drunk drivers who are stopped by officers and refuse to take a breath test will be ordered by a court to provide a blood sample.

Those whose blood alcohol content tests above the legal limit will go to jail, Wilson says.

Chances are, some who are not caught will end up dead.

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