Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato was joined by South Beloit Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier and Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea to announce a special law enforcement traffic detail that will take place over the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend. The detail will include a “No Refusal Weekend” in addition to special patrols.
Law enforcement agencies throughout Winnebago County are making extra efforts to get drunk and impaired drivers off the streets. If a driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer after being asked to by a police officer, the individual will be automatically transported to the Winnebago County Jail. The State’s Attorney’s Office will then seek a search warrant to have a phlebotomist collect the driver’s blood which will be tested and kept as evidence. If an individual continues to refuse to submit to a blood test, they could face Obstruction of Justice charges in addition to the Driving Under the Influence charge.
Similar traffic details have been successfully conducted in other jurisdictions like Kane County, Illinois. In 2016, Winnebago County participated in a “no refusal weekend” over the 4th of July Holiday Weekend. The goal of this coordinated effort is to encourage drivers to be safe and stay sober.