No Refusal Weekend Planned By Local Law Enforcement To Stop Drunk Drivers

It is an operation that plays a critical role in the lives of people who have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents.

Law enforcement is not taking a holiday weekend.  Across the state they will be out in force taking an aggressive approach to get drunk drivers off Texas roads this weekend.

Some counties in Texoma will be joining the "No Refusal Weekend" meaning warrants will be given to any one pulled over who refuses to take a breath or blood test.

Devastated victims dealing with such tragedies are able to heal knowing that their community supports getting drunk drivers off the roads.

Advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Sandy Branch, was in the area Thursday, meeting with a Wichita Falls mother who lost her daughter two years ago.  She was in the passenger seat when the car was hit by a drunk driver.

Think twice before you drink and drive.  This is the state wide message law enforcement wants everyone to follow over 4th of July weekend.

Sandy Branch works with victims who have had to bury loved ones because of drinking and driving.  Healing after such a loss is a life long struggle.

Sandy Branch says, "you never get over it, its always with you.  It is not a process, which implies there is a beginning and an end, it is a continuing circle."  She says that is why it is so important to be responsible when you are drinking.

District Attorney, Staley Heatly, is also looking to keep our community safe.  He covers Wilgarger, Hardeman, and Foard Counties.  The counties, for the first time ever will participate in the "No Refusal Weekend."

Any suspected drunk driver pulled over by police who refuses to take a breath test will be subject to a blood test.  Judges will be on stand by to issue warrants to draw blood.

Newschannel 6 reached out to Wichita County's Sheriff's Office and officials say they will not be issuing warrants to catch drunk drivers.  They do plan on having extra deputies out patrolling the roads looking for any violators.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationally, the fourth of July is the number one holiday for alcohol related fatal crashes.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6