Austin Police implement 'No Refusal' for Mardi Gras festivities - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Austin Police implement 'No Refusal' for Mardi Gras festivities

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Austin Police are preparing for extra crowds for Mardi Gras on Saturday and Fat Tuesday.

Starting at 5 and 6 Saturday, APD started towing cars along East 6th between Red River and Brazos.
  
Also the 500 and 600 block of Neches, Trinity and San Jacinto.
  
APD says the spots were clearly marked "no parking" so it shouldn't have been a surprise.
  
Also, a few road closures for Mardi Gras:
    The 600 block of Neches
    6th Street from Brazos to Red River
        
All streets will reopen Sunday morning once it's safe to do so.
  
These procedures will repeat on Tuesday for "Fat Tuesday."
  
Of course drinking and driving is a big problem in this town so APD is tackling that with "no refusal."

"If you drink, don't get behind the wheels," -- good advice from new Austinite Simon Stewart.
  
He says after Mardi Gras on 6th Street he'll be taking the bus.

"You have to be responsible.  If you're going to be drinking, you have to be responsible.  And you do need a designated driver," he said.

The Austin Police Department agrees with that.
  
On Saturday night the 'no refusal' initiative starts at 9 pm and goes until 5 am Sunday morning -- same time on Fat Tuesday.

"No Refusal is the same as normal.  If you're stopped and you're suspected of DWI, you'll be asked to give a specimen of your breath.  If you refuse, a warrant will be issued from the courts and we'll do a mandatory blood draw based on the warrant," said Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore.

You can count Daniel Coleman among those celebrating Mardi Gras on 6th Street.  And he says he'll be taking a taxi afterwards.

"You don't drive drunk man.  It's not smart.  You don't want that on your conscience man," he said.

Coleman supports 'no refusal' if it's done for the right reasons.

"If you're using it just as a way just to stop people, I don't agree with it.  But if it's a way to really keep drunks off the street...it's perfect man.  Because you shouldn't drink and drive at all.," Coleman said.




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