The Montgomery County District Attorneys Office (MCDA) conducted several enforcement efforts this New Year’s Eve and worked with the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) to ensure the safety of the motoring public in Montgomery County. In Montgomery County over New Year’s Eve, there were 15 arrests for DWI including one Habitual DWI offender and one DWI with a Child Passenger offender. One suspect attempted to resist the blood draw, but officers were able to obtain his compliance. He was still charged with DWI, but also was charged with Resisting Search which carries double the punishment of a DWI. In addition to regular enforcement activities, Constable Rowdy Hayden enlisted all available deputies for DWI enforcement resulting in several DWI arrests and apprehensions for auto theft and felony evading. Hayden’s deputies were responsible for most of the DWI arrests on New Year’s Eve. In the combined effort, there were 5 search warrants issued for blood. The remainder of the arrestees volunteered to provide a sample resulting in a 33% refusal rate which is about a 25% improvement over regular hours. The scientific evidence obtained during this effort will help to ensure that the offenders receive appropriate dispositions on their cases according to No Refusal prosecutor Warren Diepraam who worked with Hayden and the HGAC in this effort. Diepraam further stated that he was most pleased with the lack of fatal crashes on New Year’s Eve. Nonetheless, thousands of people celebrated responsibly but Diepraam pointed out that too any still drove and now will have to pay the price of a DWI which ranges from $10,000 to $15,000.
The evening also saw brisk business for area companies who provide safe transport in Montgomery County. Several businesses provided safe transport opportunities for responsible revelers including AAA, Milstead Automotive, EMC Wrecker, and the Montgomery County Bar Owner’s Alliance who used Walt’s Taxi Service and Shuttle to transport people home if they had too much to drink. MCDA No Refusal prosecutor, Tyler Dunman, who worked in Conroe, stated that he was pleased at the safe roads this New Year’s Eve and that the businesses working with law enforcement made this a safe New Year’s Eve despite the treacherous weather. Dunman worked No Refusal at the Conroe jail. The extra No Refusal manpower is made available courtesy of Texas Department of Transportation grants. The No Refusal Program is a cooperative effort between law enforcement and others in criminal law whereby prosecutors prepare search warrants for DWI suspects arrested by police and present the warrants to judges for review. If the judge signs the warrant, a mandatory blood sample is taken by a nurse also hired through TXDOT funds.
All suspects mentioned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.