State’s attorney announces ‘No Refusal Weekend’ DUI patrols

ROCKFORD–Those thinking about driving after a few drinks in Winnebago County over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend may wish to find another mode of transportation.

In conjunction with the Rockford Police Department’s “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over!” holiday patrols, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato, along with South Beloit Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier and Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea announced Thursday that a special law-enforcement traffic detail that will take place over the next few days. The detail is being billed “No Refusal Weekend.”

RELATED: Police announce increased St. Patrick’s Day patrols

If a driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer after being asked to by a police officer, the individual will be automatically transported to the Winnebago County Jail, Bruscato said at a press conference.

The state’s attorney’s office will then seek a search warrant to have a phlebotomist collect the driver’s blood which will be tested and kept as evidence.  If an individual continues to refuse to submit to a blood test, they could face Obstruction of Justice charges in addition to the DUI charge.

Similar traffic details have been successfully conducted in other jurisdictions like Kane County, Illinois.  In 2016, Winnebago County participated in a “no refusal weekend” over the Fourth of July. The goal of this coordinated effort is to encourage drivers to be safe and stay sober.

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