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'No Refusal' set for Super Bowl weekend in Grundy County

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

In preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, it will be a “No Refusal” weekend to deter people from drinking and driving.

Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland announced the “No Refusal” will take place from Friday through Sunday. The Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office will work with local law enforcement to ensure local roads are safe over the special event weekend.

The “No Refusal” weekend means police can seek search warrants to require any motorist suspected of driving under the influence to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. While preparing for the big weekend, Helland took a page out of his own playbook to successfully combat impaired driving and protect the public, he said in a news release.

If a judge approves a search warrant request, the suspected drunken driver would be legally required to submit to a blood test, which helps ensure prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence needed to more effectively prosecute cases involving impaired driving.

Any DUI suspect who refuses to comply with the search warrant will be charged with obstructing justice, a Class 4 felony, punishable up to three years in prison.

This proactive approach to DUI enforcement is designed to combat the increasing number of repeat suspected drunken driving offenders who refuse chemical testing following a DUI arrest, and to increase the likelihood of conviction.

“We need to reduce [drunken] driving fatalities in Grundy County. Last year we had four,” Helland said in a news release. “The bottom line is, I would much rather have someone enjoy a Super Bowl party than spending their time planning a funeral because someone made the choice to go out and drink to the point they were impaired and get behind the wheel.”

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