Conroe, May 22 – Starting Thursday, May 23, 2019, and continuing through September 2, 2019, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, in conjunction with both state and local law enforcement agencies, will increase No Refusal Operations and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) Enforcement on the roadways of Montgomery County and on Lake Conroe. The goal of this initiative is to prevent boating and traffic related crashes and deaths caused by impaired drivers during the upcoming summer holiday season – the roughly 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day when alcohol and drug related crashes and fatalities are on the rise – i.e. the “Deadliest Days of Summer.”
During this time period, the District Attorney’s office, through their No Refusal TxDOT Grant, will provide nurses, prosecutors, and investigators at various locations throughout the county and on Lake Conroe to assist law enforcement in obtaining blood evidence in cases were a DWI/BWI suspect refuses to provide a scientific sample. The process is simple, but effective: 1) an officer makes a DWI/BWI arrest and asks the suspect for a breath or blood sample; 2) if the suspect refuses, the officer then meets with a prosecutor who will draft a search warrant for the suspect’s blood; 3) the warrant is sent to an on-call judge who will review the warrant for probable cause; 4) if probable cause is found, a nurse will then take a sample of the DWI/BWI suspect’s blood.
These No Refusal Operations ensure that scientific evidence is obtained in all DWI and BWI cases and provides the prosecution with strong evidence of guilt or innocence. Many Montgomery County law enforcement agencies have committed to increasing the number of officers on the streets to catch as many impaired drivers as possible.
In 2018, during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” 26 arrests were made for Boating While Intoxicated on Lake Conroe and 942 arrests were made on Montgomery County roadways for Driving While Intoxicated offenses, including one driver for intoxication manslaughter. Nearly 300 blood search warrants were obtained for those drivers that refused to provide a specimen.
Andrew James (Vehicular Crimes Chief) said, “Don’t put others in danger this summer. Make smart decisions. The danger of DWI isn’t just limited to alcohol. If you are going to drink, don’t drive. If you are going to get high, don’t drive. Take a cab, Uber, or Lyft. Better yet, volunteer to stay completely sober and make sure that your friends and family get to their destination safely. There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired. Law enforcement will catch and arrest anyone who chooses to take that risk.”