Montgomery County will become the first county in the state to implement a sobriety checkpoint along with the No Refusal Program.Montgomery County Constable Rowdy Hayden, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Conroe Police Department and others will conduct this operation on county roads where citizens and law enforcement have noted a high concentration of impaired or reckless drivers. While standard checkpoints such as those done in Texas by the federal government are prohibited by state law, the Montgomery County DA’s Office will implement a saturation patrol sobriety checkpoint that complies with current law. This will continue our role in ensuring that all law enforcement tools are utilized to combat the areas of deadliest crime.
In addition, various local law enforcement agencies will be significantly increasing impaired driving law enforcement, impaired boating law enforcement and prosecution efforts in the county. This program is meant to ensure the safety of the public on our roadways and Lake Conroe during the holiday weekend. The goal is to minimize Driving While Intoxicated and Boating While Intoxicated incidents which inevitably lead to crashes and fatalities. We want to separate drinking from driving and boating. In fact, these efforts seem to be working as alcohol related fatalities are dropping in Montgomery County.
This nationally recognized program will use mobile breath alcohol testing units(BAT) provided by the Houston Police Department, lake patrol boats provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife and Montgomery County Precinct #1, nurses, prosecutors from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and police officers from the counties various law enforcement agencies.
Judges will be available to review warrants for the existence of probable cause for arrest and search. Any person suspected or DWI or BWI who unlawfully refuses to provide a breath sample will be subject to their blood being taken by trained nurses if a judge agrees that the arrest was proper and lawful. Drivers and Boaters who are suspected of being impaired will be the targets of this initiative. This program ensures that scientific evidence will be available for all cases. The prosecution will receive strong evidence of guilt or innocence as a result of this program. Rather than take the chance of being arrested for DWI or BWI, it is our hope that people will be responsible and use a taxi or designated driver/skipper over the Labor Day weekend.
The District Attorney, Brett Ligon, will provide two nurses to draw samples of blood evidence from suspected drunk drivers and boaters who refuse to provide a chemical specimen. One nurse will be stationed at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office’s Conroe facility. The other nurse will be stationed at the Lake Conroe Office. The BAT mobiles will be available to respond to area hot spots including the new sobriety checkpoints, where impaired drivers and boaters create significant risks to public safety. Officers will use the BAT mobile for breath testing, but nurses will be available at the BAT van on an as needed basis.