Harrisonville Police Department is Officially a “No Refusal” Law Enforcement Agency

Harrisonville, MO. December 18, 2019 – Impaired driving remains a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of innocent lives on our roadways every year.    

The Harrisonville Police Department is happy to announce that it is officially a “no refusal” law enforcement agency.  The program is a collaboration of the Harrisonville Police Department and the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  A “no refusal” law enforcement agency simply means that officers will seek search warrants to obtain a blood sample from impaired drivers who refuse to consent to a breath test after their arrest.

The No Refusal policy is an enforcement strategy that allows jurisdictions to obtain search warrants for blood samples from suspected impaired drivers who refuse breath tests.  To combat the often-deadly problem of impaired driving, the Harrisonville Police Department’s “no refusal” program will be applied to all DWI arrests, when the driver refuses consent.

It is called a “no refusal” policy because all impaired drivers arrested who refuse breath testing will be subject to blood testing for alcohol and or drugs, if a judge approves a warrant. The ability of law enforcement officers to submit their search warrant applications to the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and judges electronically make this process both quick and easy.

Recently the Harrisonville Police sent Corporal Tim Mikelson to take classes allowing him to become a certified D.R.E. (Drug Recognition Expert). Along with a newly trained and certified D.R.E., this will be one more tool in the belts of Harrisonville Police Officers to battle this public safety threat.

In Cass County, as well as the rest of America, anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher is considered legally impaired. Missouri’s “implied consent” law provides that if a driver is lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that the driver has been driving while intoxicated and or drugged, then the driver consents to taking a chemical test of his or her blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining the driver’s BAC. Despite the implied consent law, some impaired drivers refuse to submit to BAC testing to conceal evidence of intoxication in an attempt to avoid the criminal sanctions they could face upon conviction. The “no refusal” policy is designed to address this issue.

Police and other law enforcement officials work in coordination with prosecutors and judges to quickly apply for and obtain “blood draw warrants” for arrested drivers who refuse BAC testing. With the approval of a judge, anyone suspected of impaired driving, who unlawfully refuses to provide a breath sample is subject to blood testing. The program helps ensure that prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence needed to effectively pursue cases involving impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2017.  Impaired driving remains the leading cause of death on our nation’s roads.