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The original item was published from 11/23/2016 11:14:44 AM to 11/28/2016 12:00:01 AM.

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County News

Posted on: November 23, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Police Using 'No Refusal' Program to Deter Impaired Drivers Thanksgiving Weekend

Police Lights by Scott Davidson
The Roanoke County Police Department will be utilizing the 'No Refusal' program from November 24th through the 27th in an effort to crack down on drinking and driving during the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.

The 'No Refusal' program simply means that if a driver refuses to submit to a breath test after being arrested for driving under the influence then the officer will apply for a search warrant with the Magistrate. If the Magistrate is satisfied with the probable cause for the arrest, a search warrant will be issued and medical staff at the Sheriff's Office will draw a blood sample, which will be submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for a toxicology test.

The 'No Refusal' program gives the Commonwealth's Attorney Office the most critical evidence needed to prosecute a DUI offense when a driver refuses to submit to a breath test- a chemical analysis of the alcohol and/or drugs present in the driver.  An analysis of DUI arrests in Roanoke County revealed that only about 20% of drivers arrested have refused to submit to a breath test.  

The 'No Refusal' program not only gives prosecutors critical evidence needed to successfully prosecute, but also sends a clear message that impaired driving is not acceptable on the roads in Roanoke County.  The Roanoke County Police Department will utilize all legal means to insure that impaired drivers are held accountable for such a potentially deadly offense during the Thanksgiving Day celebration.  No matter how you plan to get home, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Also, be aware of pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly. The lack of attention and coordination of a drunk pedestrian puts them at risk of getting hit by a vehicle; a fact seen too often in the Roanoke Valley.
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