As 'no refusal' expands over New Year's, Tarrant County happy with results

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 11:50 PM

FORT WORTH -- Law enforcement across North Texas is stepping up patrols this holiday weekend to crack down on drunk drivers.

Tarrant County's "no refusal" campaign is paying dividends. That campaign continues for agencies Monday night and again New Year's Day.

"You don't want to be one of our statistics," said Richard Alpert, Assistant Criminal Justice Attorney. "You don't want to have your name on our website as someone who didn't get the message."

Gina Medlin wishes it was "no refusal" night every night.

"Regardless of what people say - that time heals - you don't ever forget. You move forward, you have to," she said.

Medlin can't forget what happened eight years ago. The day her husband, an officer with the Grapevine police, was killed by a drunk driver.

Darren Medlin was a DWI enforcement officer. Gina remembers a knock on the door at 4:30 in the morning.

"Darren told me when four officers come to your door, that [he] won't be coming home," she said. "I just never thought that would be a true statement. I never thought it would happen to me."

Gina said Darren would be proud to see what Fort Worth police and other Tarrant County agencies are doing to stop drunk drivers in Tarrant County. The "no refusal" campaign means drivers suspected of driving drunk can be compelled to provide blood samples if they refuse to give one.

Alpert has devoted the last decade to DWI convictions. He touts a high conviction rate, and only one fatality in Tarrant County on "no refusal" nights in a span of six years.

Gina will have a quiet New Years with her children. She wants those going out to celebrate the holiday to realize the consequences of driving drunk.

"If they want to choose to drink and drive, be aware that there are people out there that they can hurt and forever impact," Medlin said.

A "no refusal" night is also scheduled for New Year's Day, starting at 9:30 p.m. and going until 5:30 a.m.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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