New DWI Task Force for Entire Houston-Galveston Area Announced

 The Houston police department has a DWI task force, and the Galveston Police Department has a DWI task force.  However, plans to form a new regional DWI task force that would unite officers from 13 counties were announced just before Christmas.  The reason for the new task force is supposedly to make better use of the area’s pooled resources.  However, some might see it as overkill.

There are already very large and active DWI task forces operating in both Galveston and Houston.   The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) states that the new DWI task force will help out during peak holiday season. The Texas Department of Transportation is footing the bill for the new Houston –Galveston area DWI task force that will only be in operation on holiday weekends.  It seems like the money might be better spent helping the DWI task forces that already exist instead of shoveling out money for a new organization that will only organize during holiday weekends a few times a year. 

A regional DWI task force such as this is unheard of in Texas.  While many mid to large sized cities in Texas have DWI task forces, and even small towns put extra officers on the schedule during the holiday season, a task force 13 counties strong is a first.  The new Houston area task force will put approximately 50 extra patrol cars on the roads during the holiday seasons that are solely dedicated to finding drunk drivers. 

It’s unclear how Houston and Galveston’s DWI task forces feel about the extra patrols.  While initially I thought they would be pleased to have more help on the roads during the busy time, the thought did cross my mind that they would feel uncomfortable with it.  It‘s just like at work when a new department is created to perform your job duties, but you haven’t been fired yet.   Hopefully it will all work out for all of the officers involved.

DWI arrests in the Houston-Galveston area have already gone down tremendously over the last few years. More people are making responsible choices when it comes to drinking and driving.  However, if you find yourself facing drunk driving charges, contact a Houston DWI Lawyer right away.

Holiday No Refusal Blood Draw Back in Houston for 2012

 The holiday blood draw days are back, and they have nothing to do with a blood drive for charity.  Throughout the holidays, up until New Years Day, DWI Task Force and BAT vans will be out in full force.  Extra staff will be on hand to assist police officers in attaining timely search warrants to forcibly draw blood from anyone suspected of driving under the influence or while intoxicated.

The Houston police department (HPD) does not release its strategy or areas of concentration to crack down on drinking and driving during the holidays.  Luckily for people in Houston and throughout Texas, DWI checkpoints are not allowed here.  However, the DWI task force strategically places officers at points of high traffic volume and DWI likelihood. 

If you live in one of the trendy hot spots in Houston with a dense population of nightspots and restaurants such as the heights area (Washington Ave. in particular), Galleria, City Centre, or Westheimer Rd., be extra careful over the holidays.  These areas are not only well known as great destinations for a night out, they are known to law enforcement as high concentration areas for drunk driving.  The Houston DWI task force will be waiting for you to make any little mistake or forget to use a turn signal while driving in these areas.

If you’re going to go out to celebrate at a dinner party, restaurant, or bar over the holidays, make sure you have a designated driver or other transportation arrangements. With Houston police saturating the roads this holiday season, and a no refusal blood draw week ahead, it would be silly to take any unnecessary chances.

However, the holidays are meant for celebrating, and sometimes our judgment calls are not as sharp as we hope they will be.  If you are arrested for DWI or DUI charges, call the Offices of Johnson, Johnson, & Baer, P. C. today.  

Parales to Head Houston DWI Task Force Despite Reprimands

 

 Last month Police Chief Charles McClelland named Daniel S. Parales as the new Houston DWI task force supervisor.  The reason his appointment has provoked so much controversy is because he was reprimanded in April for not charging an HPD officer with a DWI when he was clearly intoxicated.  After colliding with a school bus and testing a BAC of over twice the legal limit, Parales let the officer go and attempted to cover the whole thing up. 

Teresa Argueta was driving the privately owned school bus when the accident occurred, and luckily was the only occupant.  She was later cited for running a stop sign.  Argueta claimed that the vehicle Sergeant Ruben Trejo was driving at the time of the accident contained opened beer and wine bottles, and that Trejo smelled strongly of alcohol. 

Officers who responded to the scene were later reprimanded for not taking the bottles as evidence.  However, the officers claimed that the bottles Argueta spoke of were unopened. 

Teresa Argueta’s son, Aaron Argueta, rushed to the scene of the accident after receiving a phone call from his mother about the accident.  When he arrived he immediately went to the site of impact and attempted to take pictures of the alcohol in the police officer’s car. Argueta claims that the officers threatened to arrest him if he photographed the inside of the car.

Chief McClelland continues to defend his decision of appointing Parales as the new Houston DWI task force supervisor, stating that Parales and the other officers reprimanded in the event will in no way repeat the mistakes they were disciplined for.

Sergeant Trejo was charged with a DWI two weeks after the accident, and has since retired from his position as an HPD Sergeant. 

Aaron Argueta voiced concerns over what he thinks was an obvious cover-up.  He told the media that if he had hit a school bus while driving drunk, he would most certainly be in a penitentiary. 

However, the Houston Police Officer’s union has been extremely critical of McClelland’s punishment towards the HPD officers who responded to the scene of the April 13th accident.  The union thinks that the punishment was unnecessary, and that the officers did not make any mistakes that would warrant such reprimands. 

Even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) agrees with Parales’ appointment as supervisor of the Houston DWI task force.  MADD says that they are happy with any concentrated efforts to stop drunk driving in Houston.

Public controversy over HPD and other local law enforcement agencies is nothing new in Houston.  Only last month the Harris County Sherriff’s parole department was under scrutiny, and hundreds of drug tests were deemed inadmissible in court.  It is safe to say that Sergeant Trejo will need a good Houston drunk driving lawyer to defend him, as leniency in his trial is highly unlikely.

 

 Last month Police Chief Charles McClelland named Daniel S. Parales as the new Houston DWI task force supervisor.  The reason his appointment has provoked so much controversy is because he was reprimanded in April for not charging an HPD officer with a DWI when he was clearly intoxicated.  After colliding with a school bus and testing a BAC of over twice the legal limit, Parales let the officer go and attempted to cover the whole thing up. 

Teresa Argueta was driving the privately owned school bus when the accident occurred, and luckily was the only occupant.  She was later cited for running a stop sign.  Argueta claimed that the vehicle Sergeant Ruben Trejo was driving at the time of the accident contained opened beer and wine bottles, and that Trejo smelled strongly of alcohol. 

Officers who responded to the scene were later reprimanded for not taking the bottles as evidence.  However, the officers claimed that the bottles Argueta spoke of were unopened. 

Teresa Argueta’s son, Aaron Argueta, rushed to the scene of the accident after receiving a phone call from his mother about the accident.  When he arrived he immediately went to the site of impact and attempted to take pictures of the alcohol in the police officer’s car. Argueta claims that the officers threatened to arrest him if he photographed the inside of the car.

Chief McClelland continues to defend his decision of appointing Parales as the new Houston DWI task force supervisor, stating that Parales and the other officers reprimanded in the event will in no way repeat the mistakes they were disciplined for.

Sergeant Trejo was charged with a DWI two weeks after the accident, and has since retired from his position as an HPD Sergeant. 

Aaron Argueta voiced concerns over what he thinks was an obvious cover-up.  He told the media that if he had hit a school bus while driving drunk, he would most certainly be in a penitentiary. 

However, the Houston Police Officer’s union has been extremely critical of McClelland’s punishment towards the HPD officers who responded to the scene of the April 13th accident.  The union thinks that the punishment was unnecessary, and that the officers did not make any mistakes that would warrant such reprimands. 

Even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) agrees with Parales’ appointment as supervisor of the Houston DWI task force.  MADD says that they are happy with any concentrated efforts to stop drunk driving in Houston.

Public controversy over HPD and other local law enforcement agencies is nothing new in Houston.  Only last month the Harris County Sherriff’s parole department was under scrutiny, and hundreds of drug tests were deemed inadmissible in court.  It is safe to say that Sergeant Trejo will need a good Houston drunk driving lawyer to defend him, as leniency in his trial is highly unlikely.