SLIDELL, LA — Tonight, November 2, is the first that the Slidell City Court will have a judge ready to help make sure drunk drivers can’t hide the evidence. A judge will be ready to sign warrants into the evening and early morning hours to allow medical workers to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers.
It’s a pilot program in the eastern side of Saint Tammany Parish and is called the “No Refusal Initiative”.
Here is how it works. If Slidell police officers or Saint Tammany Parish deputies suspect someone is driving drunk, that person will be asked to provide a breath sample. If a suspect refuses, then the on-call judge will be contacted to sign the warrant.
Once the warrant is secured, the suspect will be taken to the jail at the Slidell Police Department where a nurse will be standing by to take a blood sample.
Anyone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Louisiana is considered legally impaired.
The parish and city are working with the group Tangipahoa – Reshaping Attitudes for Community Change, or TRACC. State police will also be participating.
City Court judge Jim Lamz will be standing by on the first night. A second night is planned for November 4.
“The No Refusal Initiative represents one more step in our battle against the public safety threat of impaired driving, which still claims thousands of innocent lives on the roadways of our community,” Judge Lamz is quoted in a written statement announcing the pilot program.
After November, additional dates will be announced for future months.