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Please pass on to everyone: Here’s a press release from the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force announcing a “No Refusal Weekend”. Please have a great time this weekend but do it SAFELY!!

Posted 6/26/2013 12:01 PM by MDGREGORY

Spokane County Target Zero Task Force

Launches A "No Refusal Weekend"
All Impaired Drivers Will Be Tested

Hoopfest Weekend 2013 June 28, 29, 30

For Immediate Release Contact:
Karen Wigen, Target Zero Task Force Manager (509) 477-7447
Stephanie Olsen, Target Zero Prosecutor, Spokane County (509) 477-3980

Spokane County Target Zero Task Force Launches A "No Refusal Weekend"; All Impaired Drivers Will Be Tested Hoopfest Weekend 2013 June 28, 29, 30

Spokane County: To combat the often deadly problem of impaired driving, the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force will have local law enforcement agencies out in force this Hoopfest weekend, June 28-30, cracking down on impaired drivers. This crackdown will include Target Zero's latest enforcement strategy: a "No Refusal Weekend." This strategy is so named because all suspected impaired drivers arrested during the enforcement period who refuse breath testing will be subject to blood testing for alcohol or drugs "Impaired driving remains a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of innocent lives on our roadways every year. No Refusal Weekends represent one more step in our battle against this scourge," said Sgt. Tony Meyer, Spokane Police Department.

"Impaired driving remains a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of innocent lives on our roadways every year. No Refusal Weekends represent one more step in our battle against this scourge," said Sgt. Tony Meyer, Spokane Police Department.

In 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. These alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.

An average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 53 minutes in 2011.

In Spokane, as well as the rest of America, anyone driving with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher is considered legally impaired. However, many impaired drivers refuse to submit to a breath test in an attempt to avoid-or have reduced-the criminal sanctions they could face upon conviction.

Breath test refusals are increasing around the Nation. In a 2008 NHTSA report to Congress, Refusal of Intoxication Testing: A Report to Congress, refusal rates ranged from 2.4 percent to 81 percent, with an average refusal rate of 22.4 percent. In this jurisdiction, the refusal rate is approximately 25 percent.

The "No Refusal Weekend" is designed to address this issue. Police and other law enforcement officials work in coordination with prosecutors and judges to quickly obtain "blood draw warrants" for drivers who refuse BAC testing. With the approval of a judge, anyone suspected of impaired driving who refuses to provide a breath sample is subject to a blood draw at the scene, or nearest medical facility. The program helps ensure that prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence needed to effectively pursue cases involving impaired driving.

Spokane County had 14 impaired-driving fatalities in 2011. Spokane County Target Zero Task Force believes in the "Target Zero" goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. With your help, we can all make this goal a reality!