The Montgomery County DWI Task Force (MCDA) conducted several enforcement efforts this past weekend and worked with the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) to ensure the safety of the motoring public not only in Montgomery County, but also in counties across the region. In Montgomery County over the weekend, there were 27 arrests for DWI and one arrest for Intoxication Assault where it has been alleged four children were injured by an impaired driver resulting in two charges against John Hargrave. In the combined MCDA and HGAC No Refusal efforts, there were at least 3 search warrants issued for blood, 10 breath tests ranging from 0.094 to 0.253, 1 mandatory sample, 6 refusals (off hours), and 10 voluntary blood samples. The Task Force was created as a result of several fatalities in June and July caused by over-serving and wrong way drunk drivers. An arrest for a DWI may cost as much as $10,000 and if convicted, a person can expect to pay as much as $17,000. Fees include towing, bonding, interlocks, lawyer’s fees, supervision fees, and $1,000 a year to maintain the privilege to drive.
This evening will see numerous police officers on the streets with the specific intent to remove impaired drivers from the roadway. In Montgomery County, area law enforcement will have at least 20 extra DWI officers on the roadways specifically tasked with DWI detection and apprehension. Constable Rowdy Hayden, Precinct 4, is dedicating all available deputies to DWI detection this evening. DPS in Harris County will have at least 10 extra troopers working Harris County roads tonight in addition to other agencies in that county. Prosecutors and judges in Montgomery, Harris, and Galveston counties will conduct No Refusal operations tonight. A prosecutor and a judge will be available all evening to draft search warrants for blood samples for those individuals who are arrested and refuse a breath or voluntary blood draw. The extra 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.
This evening offers a unique opportunity for those who want to drink and celebrate the New Year to do so safely and responsibly. Several businesses offer safe tows, shuttle services, and designated driver programs. Included in these programs are:
Milstead Automotive which provides 60 wreckers to assist those in need of a lift home after celebrating will tow cars and bring people to their homes or hotels. The number for Milstead’s Last Call program is 281.367.3535.
For those looking for clubs to safely celebrate the evening, the Montgomery County Bar Owner’s Alliance offers a variety of programs including designated drivers and a shuttle service. Find out more by contacting the Alliance or go to the following businesses or their websites: Rookies, Exit 73, Ranch Hill Saloon, Papa’s Icehouse, Tewbeleaux’s, and the 19th Hole.
For hired drivers, go to www.dd4hire.com or call 1.877.780.7384. DD4HIRE.COM will provide a designated driver for a small fee.
Tipsy Tow service provides a complimentary ride and vehicle tow up to three miles from the point of pickup to drivers who have consumed alcohol on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. Tipsy Tow service is available to members and non-members. Ask for a Tipsy Tow by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP [222-4357].
In addition numerous taxi companies provide services throughout all our counties.
If you can’t use a business to be responsible, get a designated driver. Most businesses offer discounts and free non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers. For information, contact the above businesses or call Warren Diepraam at 936.672.3611. The MCDA and Montgomery County do not endorse the above businesses. This information is provided for traffic safety and informational purposes only. All suspects mentioned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
For intoxicated drivers in the Porter, Splendora, New Caney area, you can call EMC Wrecker at 281-689-TOWS (8697. Up until 3 a.m. They will provide free towing for you. Call to schedule pick-up.