CONROE – Brett Ligon, the Montgomery County District Attorney has announced that there were 115 DWI charges filed over the extended July 4th holiday period. Because the celebration was in the middle of the week, this event consisted of two weekends of enforcement by police and several days of warrant review by prosecutors. In addition, the Joint Crime Reduction Unit (J-CRU), a DPS Task Force, and an MCSO DWI group were involved with extensive prevention efforts. Prosecutors working the DA’s No Refusal program drafted 19 search warrants for blood in DWI cases. The refusal rate dropped from the state average of 45% to 32% indicating that more people are getting the No Refusal message that individuals arrested should provide a specimen of breath or blood as the law requires. Of the people arrested, the average breath test result was 0.16 with a range from 0.08 to 0.253. Blood test results are pending DPS analysis. The breakdown of the DWI arrests consisted of about 55% first offenders and about 45% aggravated or repeat offenders including 22 felony DWI arrests.
As a reflection of the success of the No Refusal program on Lake Conroe, there were no Boating While Intoxicated arrests during this enforcement period. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been instrumental at ensuring that Lake Conroe has become one of the safest lakes in Texas. There have been no BWI fatalities on Lake Conroe for almost five years during the No Refusal enforcement efforts. Lake Conroe is now classified by that agency as one of the safest in Texas. There were 3 boating while intoxicated arrests during the period.
In addition to the extra patrols in Montgomery County, the Bars and Cars Task Force conducted operations on July 3rd. The effort was spearheaded by Montgomery County prosecutor Tyler Dunman. The group visited several area bars in a continuing effort to warn of the dangers and liabilities of over serving alcohol. Lastly, Montgomery County prosecutor, Warren Diepraam, also assisted Fort Bend County with their No Refusal effort. That county conducted its largest No Refusal effort ever. The success of Ligon’s No Refusal program is being implemented in other areas with similar life-saving results.
Although every weekend is No Refusal in Montgomery County, the next big enforcement effort will be conducted over the Labor Day weekend. Thanks to Texas Department of Transportation and Houston Galveston Area Council grants, these initiatives have become frequent and have contributed to area traffic safety. Diepraam reminds potential DWI drivers that Texas law states that they have consented to providing a blood or breath sample and that Montgomery County officials will be on the streets to ensure traffic safety. Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine up to $2,000, serve six months in jail, or serve two years probation. Safety officials say other costs associated with an impaired