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Local

No refusal: DUI stings to continue

ST. CHARLES – State’s Attorney John Barsanti said Tuesday he’ll be able to resume his “no-refusal” initiative with a Halloween sting to target drunk drivers that refuse breath tests.

The “no-refusal weekends” are DUI stings that allow police to obtain warrants for offenders who refuse to submit to a breath test during a traffic stop.

Barsanti said that the fourth Kane County sting will be on Oct. 31, but would not disclose a location.

The announcement comes about a month after Barsanti questioned if he would be able to continue the stings after hearing from two police departments that expressed an unwillingness to participate.

Now, eight departments want a no-refusal sting, including Batavia, Carpentersville, Elgin, Montgomery, St. Charles and South Elgin, Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Sims said.

There already have been three no-refusal weekends involving Tri-City police departments, Kane County Sheriff’s police and Elgin police.

Barsanti would not name which departments did not want the stings, or if they’ve reconsidered their position in the last month.

He also has said that he suspects police chiefs and mayors are feeling pressure from the public to turn down a no-refusal weekend.

The stings, first announced last year, have many critics who claim the operation violates rights, or costs the county money.

The grant-funded operation provides police patrol and prosecutors, along with on-call judges who may issue warrants for anyone who refuses a breath test.

Those pulled over are stopped by police for violating a traffic law. If the officer suspects the driver is drunk, they may be asked to submit to a breath test.

Drivers who refuse breath or blood tests after a warrant is issued could be charged with obstruction of justice or resisting an officer.

In prior stings – all occurring around holidays – most submit to a breath test after receiving a warrant.

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