From the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office:
As our county prepares for the New Year, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and various local law enforcement agencies will be significantly increasing impaired driving law enforcement and prosecution efforts in the county. This program is meant to ensure the safety of the public on our roadways during the holiday season. The goal is to minimize Driving While Intoxicated incidents which inevitably lead to crashes and fatalities.
The nationally recognized program will use mobile breath alcohol testing units (BAT) provided by the Houston Police Department, nurses, prosecutors from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and police officers from the county’s various law enforcement agencies.
Judges will be available to review warrants for the existence of probable cause for arrest and search. Any person suspected of DWI 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 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.
The District Attorney, Brett Ligon, will provide two nurses to draw samples of blood evidence from suspected drunk drivers who refuse to provide a chemical specimen. One nurse will be stationed at the Montgomery County Sheriff Office’s Conroe facility in order to serve agencies in north-county and east-county. The other nurse will be stationed at the Woodlands annex to assist law enforcement in south-county and west-county. The BAT mobile will be located in the Woodlands Mall parking lot near Fleming’s Steakhouse but will also respond to area hot spots where impaired drivers 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.
The District Attorney, in conjunction with the assistance of area police agencies, has set national standards in DWI law enforcement as a result of the purchase of state of the art law enforcement equipment to be used to find, arrest, and prosecute impaired drivers including infra-red cameras (Hawk Eyes) to film impaired driver’s eyes during sobriety testing, crash scene mapping tools, police video systems, Intoximeter portable breath testing instruments, and “black box” crash data recorders. The BAT mobile, the Hawk Eyes, and other items will be available for filming subject to each agency’s requirements. Prosecutors will keep a list of all DWI suspects and information on the arrests. This information will be posted on the MCDA Twitter page found at MontgomeryTXDAO at www.twitter.com. Information available on Twitter will include the number of arrests, the number of fatalities, the range of breath test results, the number of search warrants, and the names of individuals charged with DWI type offenses.
In addition, the MCDA will work with TABC and their agents to respond to any crash scenes in the area. This team of law enforcement personnel will assist police agencies investigating fatal crashes in Montgomery County and all surrounding counties. By responding to crash scenes, prosecutors help to ensure the admissibility of evidence and TABC agents are able to discover if liquor violations at establishments played a role in the fatal crash. Montgomery County law enforcement is the only county using all these tools to combat impaired driving.
Some of the participating agencies: Conroe Police Department, Department of Public Safety, Houston Police Department, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Constable’s Offices 1 & 4, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and many others.