Cameron County Sheriff Deputies were out in full force this weekend as part of the "No Refusal" program. The initiative allows deputes to get the green light from magistrates in order to obtain blood samples for suspected drunk drivers.
In 2010, over 10,000 people died in a drunk driving accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "DWI would be mainly on HWY 100 and HWY 48 those are the major calls for accidents especially our DWI accidents," Deputy Rodriguez said. Cameron County Deputies have respond to about 10 drunk driving calls per month, and that number increases during holidays. "People don TMt think about having a designated driver at that time so a lot of people drink and drive and forget their safety in reality when you are drinking you are putting yourself and others in danger," Rodriguez said. Nationwide the numbers are shocking as one drunk driving accident happens every 51 minutes. To avoid deadly crashes, Sgt. Rodriguez said people should take a cab. Last Sunday five people died along along HWY 100 just east of Los Fresnos. Margaret Gil, the woman accused of drinking and driving, is booked in a Cameron County jail on five counts of intoxication manslaughter. Rodriguez continued, "Usually the driver of the vehicle that TMs intoxicated usually walks away from the accident and unfortunately the people that are victim of these accidents sometime lose their lives or get critically injured." In Sundays deadly accident Gill was transported to a San Antonio hospital where she was treated for a broken leg. Edward Gomez, 32, 30-year-old Erika Davila, 13-year-old Julexy Alvarez 3-year-old Kamilla Gomez and Carmela Sanchez unfortunately did not escape the crash as Gil did. The "No Refusal" program throughout Texas is a strategy that allows law enforcement officials to obtain search warrants demanding blood samples from suspected drunk drivers who refuse breathalizer tests. Many jurisdictions allow officers to request warrants via phone from on-call judges or magistrates. Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually. Click here to view the No Refusal schedule.