May 8, Conroe – On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) held their 2017 Take the Wheel Law Enforcement Award and Recognition Event for Harris and Montgomery Counties in Houston, Texas. Among the award recipients were District Attorney Brett Ligon, 9th District Court Judge Phil Grant, and Assistant District Attorney Lisa Stewart.
Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon received the 2017 Policy Setter Award for his dedication to changes aimed at decreasing intoxicated driving in Montgomery County as well as his efforts on the state level to increase the punishment for intoxicated drivers in certain aggravating circumstances. Under DA Ligon’s administration, prosecutors assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Team respond to all serious crashes in the county to assist officers on scene as well as prosecute the cases in court. Recently, DA Ligon traveled to Austin, Texas and met with state legislators on the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee to support an increased punishment range when an intoxicated driver is involved in a crash that seriously injures or kills more than one person or a child, is fleeing from police when the crash occurs, flees from the scene of the crash, or has a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated.
Brett Ligon, District Attorney said, “I was honored to have received the MADD Policy Setter Award. We will continue to fight against DWI in Montgomery County. One of the ways we do this is to work with the legislature to draft and implement the most effective laws possible in the area of DWI. We were excited to work along with Representative WIll Metcalf on this piece of legislation, House Bill 1327. This piece of legislation will will provide justice for victims in the most serious of DWI cases.”
MADD also awarded Assistant District Attorney Lisa Stewart the 2017 Prosecutor Service Award for her commitment to prosecuting cases as part of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Team. ADA Stewart has been a part of the Vehicular Crimes Team for over four years and has responded to and prosecuted many high profile cases, including the case against Defendant Isaac Ackley who was recently sentenced to 15 years for killing Daniel Gomez while intoxicated and fleeing from that crash. ADA Stewart also takes part in community outreach focused on education and prevention by helping to train officers as well as participating in Shattered Lives at local high schools. Last month, ADA Stewart testified in front of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee at the Texas Capitol on behalf of the DA’s office in support of a bill that will increase the punishment range for intoxication assault and manslaughter cases in aggravating circumstances.
Stewart said, “It’s an honor to be recognized by MADD and I’m proud to be a part of the education and prevention efforts in Montgomery County as well as the pursuit of justice for victims and their families.”
9th District Court Judge Phil Grant received the Judiciary Service Award at the event for his dedication to being available to law enforcement to review search warrants at all hours of the day and during No Refusal operations. MADD also recognized the efforts of Detective Brandon Bartoskewitz from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Daniel Markham from the Conroe Police Department, and Officer Thomas Landrum from the Magnolia Police Department as well as the entire Magnolia Police Department for their efforts in keeping Montgomery County roads safe.
Andrew James, Vehicular Crimes Chief, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, said, “We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of these officers and agencies in continuing the fight against impaired driving and in keeping our streets safe.”