Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"No Refusal Weekend" Impaired Driving Emphasis Patrol Deemed a Success

Teresa Baker
Public Information Officer
700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 884-7087

For Immediate Release: 6/1/16 2:57 p.m.

LEWISTON - Law enforcement and prosecutors participating in the first ever "No Refusal Weekend" held in the Lewiston area over the Memorial Day holiday have deemed it a success in keeping impaired drivers off Idaho's roads.

The "No Refusal Weekend" meant that law enforcement and prosecutors would seek a search warrant for any driver that was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and who refused to provide an evidentiary sample of breath or blood.

"We are very pleased that law enforcement was able to get six impaired drivers off the roads this weekend," said Idaho State Police Sergeant Rich Adamson, who organized the emphasis patrol. "Of the six people arrested for DUI, three of the drivers initially refused to provide a breath sample until they learned that a search warrant would be sought," Adamson said.

Two of the three drivers that initially refused a breath sample had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels in excess of .20, qualifying for an excessive DUI charge pursuant to section 18-8004C, Idaho Code. One of the excessive BAC drivers was charged with felony DUI under section 18-8004, Idaho Code, as it was her third DUI within 15 years. This driver also had two children in the vehicle and also faces two charges of injury to child and one charge for not properly having a child restrained in a child safety seat.

"Unfortunately there were several tragedies on Idaho roads over the weekend," said Adamson, "however we believe that we avoided at least six more tragedies from occurring. We also want to thank the family of Russell Raschka for allowing us to tell Russell's story about the real consequences of driving impaired. Lastly, we thank all of the people that heeded our warning and celebrated responsibly. While we know six tragedies were avoided by arrest, we will never really know just how many families are still together because someone chose not to get behind the wheel after drinking."

Law enforcement will continue to work as one team throughout the summer with goal to reduce deadly crashes caused not only by impaired driving but also by other dangerous driving behaviors including distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, speed, as well as, seatbelt enforcement. The Idaho Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Safety is providing grant funds that will allow law enforcement agencies to pay for extra patrols dedicated to traffic law enforcement.

The agencies participating in the "No Refusal Weekend" include the following:

Orofino Police Department
Clearwater County Sheriff's Office
Clearwater County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Grangeville Police Department
Kamiah Marshal's Office
Idaho County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Moscow Police Department
Latah County Sheriff's Office
Latah County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Lewis County Sheriff's Office
Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office
Nez Perce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Idaho State Police