"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, assistant district attorney and special crimes bureau 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."
Here are a few things to know about the summer campaign:
1. No Refusal will be out in full force this summer
Through a No Refusal grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, the DA's office will be able to provide prosecutors and investigators throughout the county to assist law enforcement with obtaining blood evidence in cases where a DWI/BWI suspect refused to provide a sample.
These samples can be used as strong evidence of guilt or innocence later on in DWI/BWI cases.
Here is how the process works:
An officer makes a DWI/BWI arrest and asks the suspect for a breath or blood sample
If the suspect refuses, the officer meets with a prosecutor who will draft a search warrant for the suspect's blood
The warrant is sent to an on-call judge who reviews the warrant for probable cause
If probable cause is found, a nurse will take a sample of the suspect's blood
2. Ten agencies are participating in the campaign
In addition to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, several other local law enforcement agencies have partnered up and are participating in the campaign by committing to increase the number of officers they allocate on the streets and on Lake Conroe to catch DWI/BWI suspects.
"DWI is our most preventable, violent crime in Montgomery County," Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson said. "It's an effort that we've been trying to address for many years now; we've made some progress, but we have the unfortunate statistic of leading the state in DWI fatality crashes-that's something we're trying to address today."
Participating agencies include: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Department of Public Safety, Montgomery Police Department, Precinct 1 Constables Office, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Precinct 3 Constables Office, Conroe Police Department, Magnolia Police Department, Precinct 4 Constables Office and Splendora Police Department.
3. Montgomery County is partnering with Uber
During the campaign, Montgomery County residents are encouraged to consider Uber as an alternate form of safe transportation.
"Uber is proud to work with t[he] Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and Montgomery County law enforcement to help encourage everyone to play it safe this summer," Uber Houston general manager David Brightman said. "Drunk driving is completely preventable and we are committed to providing access to a reliable alternative to getting behind the wheel."
First-time riders in Montgomery County can use the Uber promo code "MOCOSAFE" to receive $15 off their first trip.
This story comes from our partners at Impact Community Newspaper.