Transportation

Montgomery County Increases DWI Enforcement For One Of Its Major Events

The upcoming Texas Renaissance Festival is a time for merriment. But if you get a little too merry, authorities are warning you not to get behind the wheel.

RenFest starts this weekend in Todd Mission, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. And while costumed revelers roam the grounds, police will be on the roads looking for drunk drivers.

Tyler Dunman with the Montgomery County DA’s office says they arrested over 60 people for DWI during last year’s festival.  

“The roadways and intersections aren’t used to that type of traffic during this time,” explains Dunman. “It kind of lends itself to some dangerous situations. Historically we’ve had some pretty bad crashes out in that area.”

Dunman says they’ll conduct their “No Refusal” enforcement efforts through November 27, which also includes Thanksgiving.

The county will use its specially-equipped DART van to handle arrests. There will be nurses to take blood samples and prosecutors to draw up charges.

“If the person refuses to give a breath sample, we’re able to draw a search warrant and take a sample of their blood at that location,” adds Dunman. “Once that’s complete, that officer can get right back on the streets and continue enforcement.”

Montgomery County is doing its enforcement efforts with the help of TxDOT grant. Dunman says it costs about $300,000 a year to pay for enhanced patrols during RenFest and other holidays.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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