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Three charged in St. Patrick's no-refusal operation

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:41 p.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – A no-refusal operation conducted by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday resulted in three drunken driving charges.

Five police agencies participated in the most recent no-refusal event – an operation designed to expedite the booking process for those charged with driving under the influence. During a no-refusal event, police work with an assistant state’s attorney to quickly obtain a search warrant to compel a DUI suspect to submit a blood-alcohol level test.

Batavia, Elburn, Geneva, South Elgin and St. Charles police departments participated in the most recent no-refusal operation.

Joe McMahon, Kane County state’s attorney, said none of the St. Patrick’s Day stops required officers to force blood draws, as everyone cooperated. Of the three breath samples collected, two were more than twice the legal limit. The no-refusal operation spanned three nights from March 15 to March 17.

Geneva police charged Rickie A. Thomas, 52, of the 700 block of E. State Street in Geneva, with driving under the influence; and St. Charles police charged Daniel M. Lizalde, 39, of the 1100 block of White Avenue in Aurora, and Roger E. Loeb, 47, of the 1S block of Thorndon Ridge Drive in St. Charles, with driving under the influence.

No-refusal operations started in Kane County in May 2008, and the St. Patrick’s Day operation was the 12th conducted in Kane County. Since then, 108 drivers have been charged with driving under the influence, and most have pleaded guilty, according to a news release. Many no-refusal cases still are pending.

Last March was the third time police in the area have participated in a no-refusal event during St. Patrick’s Day.

One police agency – St. Charles – participated in the first St. Patrick’s Day no-refusal event in 2009, which resulted in three drivers being charged with driving under the influence. The second was conducted in 2012, when 13 police agencies participated, resulting in 21 people being charged with driving under the influence.

McMahon said the goal of a no-refusal operation is to encourage drivers to not drink and drive, which means a successful operation would net zero arrests.

“We will continue to work with our police agencies on the no-refusal initiatives as a law-enforcement tool, and as a means to deter and educate about the dangers and consequences of drunken driving,” McMahon said in a news release. “We believe the process has been effective.”

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