Constable Rowdy Hayden wants area residents to know that the “Men in Black” will be out in force this holiday weekend with a goal of taking as many drunk drivers as possible to jail and off of East Montgomery County roadways.
Pct. 4 has again instituted a “zero tolerance” policy, focusing on a variety of offenses, including driving while intoxicated, driving without liability insurance and driving without a valid license.
Drunk and impaired drivers have been a focus of Hayden’s administration, in cooperation with the office of Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon, who has also taken an unprecedented tough stance on the offense. Ligon has coordinated a “No Refusal Weekend” for the Fourth, just as he has on previous holidays and participation is strong countywide.
In April, Constable Hayden and Chief Deputy Barry Welch responded to a call regarding a drunk driver and located him stuck in traffic at a red light intersection of FM 1314 and Hwy 59. Both tried to communicate with the driver, but he refused to roll down the window of his SUV, or take the vehicle out of gear. Before the light could change to green, Welch had to force entry by breaking the passenger’s side window, and while the suspect was distracted, Hayden gained entry on the driver’s side. Hayden turned off the ignition and the drunk driver was removed from the vehicle without anyone being harmed. The driver was arrested and his vehicle was impounded.
Hayden said the incident demonstrated his agency’s determination to combat drunk driving and to stop the deaths and injuries associated with the crime.
Pct. 4 has a perpetual “No DL, no insurance, no way” policy that means when a driver is found without either a valid driver’s license, valid insurance, or both, their vehicle is towed and a citation is written. Those violations have been recorded weekly since the program’s inception.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2007, Texas led the nation in fatalities due to drunk drivers, with a total of 1,544 which accounted for 45 percent of all automobile related fatalities in the state. To put that into perspective, the 2005 Census estimated the population of the city of Splendora was 1,394.
Hayden said “zero tolerance” means no excuses and no exceptions, “violators will pay the price.”