No Refusal Initiative aims to keep rodeo goers in check

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by Jacqueline Crea / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 7:40 PM

HOUSTON – It’s that time of year. The grills are fired up for the barbecue cook-off, and along with the food, comes plenty of booze.

“We’re icing the beer, making sure it’s cold for the cowboys and cowgirls,” said a vendor setting up for the cook-off.

And for that reason, the Harris County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office have started their No Refusal Initiative, to keep people from getting out of hand.

“All we’re asking you to do is have a plan when you know you’re going out drinking,” said the District Attorney Devon Anderson.

If there’s no plan and you get pulled over and refuse a Breathalyzer, a judge is on standby ready to issue a warrant for a blood test.

Anyone serving alcohol at the event has to get state training.

“If they start getting a little bit tipsy, cut ‘em off,” said Sid Proctor, with the Salt Mine Express Vendor.

Each barbecue team at the event has their own security guard making sure everyone stays within their limits.

“We’re a law enforcement team so we make sure we have that designated driver for our guys. We take care of everybody. Everybody has a great time,” said Roy Garivey, with the Latino Peace Officers Association booth.

The rodeo has plenty of security on hand, including the sheriff’s deputies.

“So if it does get out of hand, they will get the hospitality of the county and the city. But if they need cab rides we have those available,” said Mike Demarco, the executive director of operations for the rodeo.

Hundreds of cabs are ready and waiting to give people a ride home. If you have any question about being able to drive, that’s the safest route to take.

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