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Montgomery County officials take extra steps to prevent drunken driving, boating

No refusal operations to begin Thursday, last until Sept. 5

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – Starting Thursday, and continuing through Sept. 5, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office will increase no refusal operations and driving while intoxicated and boating while intoxicated enforcement in Montgomery County and on Lake Conroe.

The goal of the increased enforcement is to prevent boating- and traffic-related crashes and deaths caused by impaired drivers during the upcoming summer holiday season – the roughly 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day when alcohol- and drug-related crashes and fatalities are on the rise.

During this period, the District Attorney’s office, through their no refusal TxDOT grant, will provide nurses, prosecutors, investigators and judges at locations throughout the county and on Lake Conroe to help law enforcement in obtaining blood evidence in cases where a DWI or BWI suspect refuses to provide a scientific sample.

An officer who makes a DWI or BWI arrest will ask the suspect for a breath or blood sample. If the suspect refuses, the officer will meet with a prosecutor who will draft a search warrant for the suspect’s blood. The warrant will then be sent to an on-call judge who will review the warrant for probable cause. If probable cause is found, a nurse will then take a sample of the DWI or BWI suspect’s blood.

The no refusal operations ensure scientific evidence is found in all DWI and BWI cases and provides the prosecution with strong evidence of guilt or innocence.

As part of the operations, many Montgomery County law enforcement agencies have committed to increasing the number of officers on the streets and on Lake Conroe to catch as many impaired drivers as possible.

Some of the participating agencies include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks & Wildlife – Game Wardens, Montgomery County Pct. 1 Constables Office – Lake Enforcement Division, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Conroe Police Department.

Thursday, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and several Montgomery County law enforcement agencies participated in the "Think It Over – Drive Sober" Memorial Day DWI Enforcement Task Force Press Conference at the Department of Public Safety Headquarters in Houston.

Montgomery County agencies joined together with state and local agencies from around greater Houston to let the public know that they are united and working together to stop intoxicated related deaths on local roadways and waterways.

Officers said the best option is to drive sober or plan for a sober alternative like a taxi, public transportation service, or Uber.

"During the summertime period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we normally see an increase in boater traffic on Lake Conroe and on the roadways surrounding the lake and throughout Montgomery County," said Tyler Dunman, vehicular crimes division chief. "Unfortunately, with an increase in boating-related activities, we will see an increase in those that make the poor, potentially fatal, decision to drive while intoxicated or operate a boat while intoxicated. Hopefully, our increased enforcement efforts will allow everyone to have a safe summer and get home alive."