NEW ORLEANS -- 'Drive sober or get pulled over.' Louisiana State Police are backing up that slogan with action in the form of DWI checkpoints across the state during the ramp up to New Years Eve.
Checkpoints were scheduled in Terrebonne and Tangipahoa parishes Thursday night.
'We will have additional state police troopers that will be at the checkpoints,' said Trooper Melissa Matey. 'We'll also be working with other area law enforcement agencies that will assist on those checkpoints.'
Many of the DWI checkpoints across the state across the state will be no refusal. That means law enforcement will be able quickly get a search warrant to take a blood sample from a suspected drunk driver who refuses to take a breathalyzer test.
'We produce a search warrant for the judge to sign showing that we have probable cause,' said Matey. 'Once the judge signs that warrant, then at that point we're able to take blood from that individual.'
The Louisiana ACLU opposes the no-refusal policy.
'Of course, everybody has an obligation not to drive impaired and potentially harm someone else,' said LA ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman. 'The question is whether this is an appropriate use of governmental power to take people's blood without their consent.'
New Orleans, where more than a third of the fatal accidents are alcohol related, has yet to implement no refusal. But the city's top cop says the practice has merit.
'It's being done by virtually all the parishes in the state and we're looking at for our city,' said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. 'What it does, it further incentivizes you, under the implied consent law, to take the breath test.'
Serpas said all of his traffic officers, including the motorcycle patrol are engaged in DWI enforcement during the holiday season.
State police in Troop B who patrol the New Orleans area are expected to set up a DWI checkpoint sometime during the four day New Year's Eve weekend.