THP begins 'No Refusal' weekend

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) - Tennessee Highway Patrol is cracking down on drunk drivers during the Labor Day weekend.

The "No Refusal" campaign kicked off midnight on Friday, August 29 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. The campaign aims to keep all drivers safe on the roads.

If a suspected drunk driver refuses a breath test, officers can demand the driver give two vials of blood. The vials will be delivered to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for testing.

Dell Russell says she wishes blood draws had been the law back in 1995 when her husband was killed by a drunk driver.

The driver refused a breath test and prosecutors had no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether 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," Russell said.

Michael McCusker with the Shelby County District Attorney's Office said, "It is a necessary law, because the average drunk driver statistically drives under the influence 80 times before they get stopped."

Memphis police say just the fear of a blood draw is working.

DUI arrests are down more than 14 percent and DUI crashes are down almost 5 percent.

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