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No-refusal operation arrests 14 for DUI on Thanksgiving Eve

Updated: January 7, 2013 7:07AM

Kane County’s Thanksgiving Eve no-refusal operation, a collaboration of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and 17 law-enforcement agencies, resulted in the acquisition of 13 breath samples and one blood sample from 14 driving-under-the-influence arrestees, the state’s attorney’s office announced.

The operation included 14 Kane County communities — Aurora, Batavia, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Elgin, Geneva, Huntley, Montgomery, Pingree Grove, St. Charles, South Elgin, Sugar Grove and West Dundee — along with Illinois State Police Districts 2 and 15, and the county sheriff’s office.

Huntley and Pingree Grove participated for the first time, and it was the first such operation held on the night before Thanksgiving. Three of the 13 tests found blood-alcohol concentrations more than twice Illinois’ legal maximum of .08.

Arrests made in the north half of Kane County included three in South Elgin, one in Carpentersville and one in St. Charles.

Aurora made seven arrests, Elburn and Sugar Grove one each.

“No matter how many police departments participate, we always have a goal of zero DUI arrests. But that’s out of our control. We are pleased that 13 BAC samples were obtained and 14 impaired drivers were stopped and removed from the streets,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

“The No-Refusal initiative has proven to be effective as a law-enforcement tool and as a means to deter and educate about the risks and consequences of drunken driving, and we will continue to use it.”

From 11 p.m. Nov. 21 to 3 a.m. Nov. 22, officers who stopped and then arrested a suspected drunken driver took the suspect to the local police station.

Each suspect was asked to submit a blood-alcohol concentration sample. Any suspect who refused to provide the sample was instructed that if they continued to refuse, a search warrant would be sought ordering them to provide the sample.

Illinois courts have consistently held that there is no right to refuse chemical testing when probable cause exists.

A spokesman for McMahon’s office said that of the 14 arrested, three initially refused to provide a breath sample. When told that law enforcement would obtain a search warrant that gives police the authority to collect a blood, breath or urine sample, two continued to refuse.

When presented with the search warrant, one defendant agreed to provide the sample while one continued to refuse and was charged with felony obstructing justice. One blood sample was collected.

At least four of those arrested face additional felony charges for allegedly driving without a valid license, and at least four had one or more prior DUI offenses.

The Thanksgiving Eve 2012 No-Refusal initiative was the 11th to be conducted in Kane County; the first was in May 2008.

In the 10 prior No-Refusals, a total of 91 motorists were charged. Most have pleaded guilty to DUI, although many cases are pending.

The initiative is designed to thwart suspected drunken drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test after an arrest on DUI charges, the state’s attorney’s office said.

The No Refusal strategy expedites the DUI booking process.

With guidance from an assistant state’s attorney, officers efficiently seek a search warrant to compel a DUI suspect to submit to a lawfully requested BAC test as required by Illinois’ Implied Consent Statute, the office said.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, approximately 50,000 motorists each year are cited for DUI. Of those, about 40 percent, or 20,000, refuse to submit to a BAC test.

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