New Year’s Eve 2014 Events #ATX Take Note: Tonight is “No Refusal” Night per APD

Stay Safe Driving To and From #ATX New Year’s Events

The lawyers and staff at the McMinn Law Firm in Austin, Texas want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. Enjoy this time with your friends and family and stay safe this New Years Eve.

New Year’s events customarily are a time to celebrate what’s good and take stock of what we forecast and desire for the year ahead.

Unfortunately this last day of the year also is one of the most dangerous nights for car accidents. Drivers underestimate the impact of drinks consumed on their ability to drive. It is important to remember to be safe, especially regarding transportation to and from events and parties.

No one wants to spend New Year’s Day in the hospital or in jail, or even hassling with a minor car crash.  To help keep roads safer tonight, APD will enforce a “no refusal” night. This means that if a driver is suspected of DWI and refuses to give a breath or blood sample, a search warrant will be issued and the blood sample, forced.

Hopefully this additional deterrent will result in more drivers choosing to drink less or not at all.  Additionally, in this tech age there are many options to be found using your tablet or smartphone.

Here are some more New Year’s Safe-Celebrating tips, including info courtesy of Answers.USA.gov:

If you are hosting a New Years Eve party:

  • Contact a local cab company to provide transportation to your guests.
  • Serve non-alcoholic drinks as an option for your guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol a couple of hours before the party ends.

If you are attending a New Years Eve party:

  • Consider attending a party or event held where you can spend the night.
  • If you will need to be on the road, plan ahead:
    • Designate a sober driver.
    • Ask a friend or family member to pick you up.
    • Call a taxi by phone or using the Yellow Cab app.
    • Take a bus or other types of mass transit.
    • Use Uber. The app makes finding and paying for a ride very simple
    • and user friendly.
  • If you do take the steering wheel yourself, be extra careful and alert for erratic drivers.

If you do find yourself seriously injured as the victim of a car crash that is not your fault, Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn want to help you as your car accident lawyer.  Austin has seen fewer car accident fatalities this year than last year. Still, serious auto accidents do continue to happen and innocent victims deserve to have their interests represented by an experienced car accident attorney.

Here is the full text of the APD Release declaring tonight a no-refusal night:

The Austin Police Department will enforce a No-Refusal initiative for the New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2014. The initiative will start at 9 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. the following morning.

The DWI initiative is an effort to enforce DWI laws, keep the public safe, and to conduct blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to give a breath or blood specimen as required by law. A high number of DWI arrests are made in Austin each year.

The 82nd Legislature passed HB1199 which implemented a higher class of offense for those whose blood alcohol concentration is at or above .15. Those found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or above will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of one year confinement in jail and a $4,000 fine for the first time offenders. This law went into effect on September 1, 2011.

APD is focused on saving lives on the streets and highways of Austin and making Austin roadways safe for everyone through education and enforcement.

New Year’s Eve No Refusal Initiative
Wednesday Dec. 31, 2014 – Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015
9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
In addition, the Home for the Holidays Traffic Safety initiative is still in effect through early January 2015. The Home for the Holidays effort began in 2007 to increase the visibility of patrol officers in the City of Austin while targeting dangerous driving behavior that traditionally occurs during the holiday period—beginning Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. This year the effort has expanded to include 22 area law enforcement agencies that participate in Arrive Alive Central Texas.

The goal of APD and its peer agencies is to decrease the number of traffic injuries and fatalities in the Austin area during this time. APD officers will focus on increased enforcement of traffic safety violations such as driver intoxication, speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changing and aggressive driving.

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