'No Refusal' could force suspected impaired drivers to give bloo - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

'No Refusal' could force suspected impaired drivers to give blood

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"No Refusal" legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases with suspected impaired drivers. "No Refusal" legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases with suspected impaired drivers.
Recently, a suspected drunk driver took the life of a beloved teenager in the Memphis community. Recently, a suspected drunk driver took the life of a beloved teenager in the Memphis community.
Dell Russell believes her husband's death— caused by a drunk driver— would have been brought to justice had the law been enforced in 1995. Dell Russell believes her husband's death— caused by a drunk driver— would have been brought to justice had the law been enforced in 1995.
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(WMC-TV) - Eight fatal crashes claimed the lives of nine people on Tennessee roadways during the 78-hour New Year's Eve holiday period last year.

The majority of those accidents involved alcohol. As these fatalities increased from the previous holiday season, Tennessee Highway Patrol stepped up enforcement this week by implementing their "No Refusal" campaign.

"No Refusal" legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases with suspected impaired drivers. In short: If a driver refuses a breath test then he or she can be forced to give blood.

The 2-year-old law changed in April requiring cops to obtain a warrant to draw blood. Investigators can then take suspects to the nearest police precinct where a licensed phlebotomist does the work. If the driver resists then her or she might be strapped down.

"We have a facility at the precinct where we are able to strap them down," said Memphis police Lt. Michael Javer. "If they were trying to spit on us or something like that we might try and find a mask."

As some argue the law violates the fourth amendment, drivers agree to implied consent whenever they get behind the wheel in Tennessee. The consent allows for a breath or blood test.

Dell Russell believes her husband's death— caused by a suspected drunk driver— would have been brought to justice had the law been enforced in 1995. The driver who hit her husband refused a breath test, and prosecutors had no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was drunk.

"I honestly thought that if you drank, and you drove a car, and you killed somebody ... That you would go to jail," said Russell. "Why do we have to give the drunk every privilege to be found not guilty?"

Recently, a suspected drunk driver took the life of a beloved teenager in the Memphis community. Investigators say a driver had a large glass of vodka before a crash killing 13-year-old Hezekiah Keyon Moss.

"All of a sudden lives were changed and taken because of a freak accident involving a drunk driver," said uncle and pastor Linwood Dillard. "Our family was tremendously devastated and our lives will never ever be the same again."

THP troopers arrested 6,180 individuals for impaired driving from the beginning of 2013 to mid-December. Special two-day enforcement for the holiday started 6 p.m. Monday; it will end at noon New Year's day. Law enforcement reminds drivers to celebrate responsibly all year round.

Listed below you can find some contact numbers for area taxis. If you don't have a designated driver this New Year's and need a ride, call a cab.

  • Arrow Transportation Corporation: 901-523-2002
  • Premier Transportation Services: 901-577-7700
  • METROCAB: 901-322-2222
  • Yellow Cab: 901-577-7777
  •  Lazer Towing: 662-393-0262. They will tow your car anywhere in DeSoto County for $10.

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