With everyone getting excited and prepared for the Mardi Gras weekend and the festivities on Monday and Tuesday, we need to stop and think about also being responsible during the season.

Mardi Gras is a time to cut lose and have fun but let's also be realistic.  People are going to be drinking.  The Louisiana State and Lake Charles police are going to be conducting their "No refusal DWI enforcement" patrols now through Wednesday, February 18th.

Sgt. James Anderson with the LSP says:

Mardi Gras is traditionally a fun time of year in Southwest Louisiana.  In an effort to make it a safe time of year as well, Louisiana State Police Troop D and the Lake Charles City Police Department will be conducting “no refusal” DWI enforcement now through Wednesday, February 18.  We will request from a judge a “no refusal” search warrant on any motorist who is suspected of driving impaired and refuses to provide a toxicology sample.

The Louisiana State Police as well as the Lake Charles Police Department have a process in place, in cooperation with prosecutors and judges in our area, to request a search warrant in conjunction with a DWI arrest.  If an arrested individual refuses to provide a toxicology sample, the circumstances of the arrest will be forwarded to a judge (an on call judge is available twenty-four hours a day) who will review the information.  If the judge determines probable cause exists, a “no refusal” warrant will be issued by the judge.  The arrested motorist will then be transported to a qualified medical professional who will obtain a toxicology sample without the consent of the arrested individual.

So please please designate a driver and be safe this Mardi Gras season.