ST. CHARLES – Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon hopes the upcoming no-refusal operation will remind motorists to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday responsibly.
During his Jan. 15 monthly media briefing, McMahon announced the next no-refusal operation will take place on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. The initiative is designed to thwart suspected drunken drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test after a driving under the influence of alcohol arrest. Through the no-refusal strategy, police officers are able to expedite the DUI booking process.
With guidance from an assistant state’s attorney, police officers can quickly obtain a search warrant to compel a DUI suspect to submit to a lawfully requested blood or breath test as required by Illinois’ Implied Consent statute. Kane County police agencies will work with the office.
This will be the 23rd operation since the Kane County State's Attorney's Office began the program in 2008. Since the program began, 143 people have been charged with DUI, McMahon said.
"I think it's the third time we've done no-refusal on a Super Bowl Sunday," he said. "We want to change behavior. That's the goal. We're not trying to surprise anybody. We're not trying to trick anybody. We want people to go out and enjoy themselves responsibly and get home safely not only for themselves, but also for all the other drivers on the road."
McMahon sees the program as being a success.
"The goal with no-refusal is really two-fold – it's about public safety, but it's also about public education and awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving," he said. "People can go out and enjoy themselves socially with alcohol and there's a way to do that responsibly by making plans. That's one of the reasons why we give people notice about this. I wish every time people would go out, they would make arrangements for Uber or Lyft or some rideshare service or a taxi to bring them home."
He believes that public awareness is taking hold, as evident by a drop in the number of DUI cases.
"Part of it is the availability of rideshare services," McMahon said, in talking about the decrease. "You can hire a designated driver through Uber or Lyft or [getting a] taxi. The generation of young adults in their 20s and 30s have heard this message their entire life. They have seen the dangers. I think they have recognized the social unacceptability of drinking and driving through their actions. So I think they deserve some of the credit. Give them some credit where credit is due."