By: Sherrie Shorten
CONROE - It’s common knowledge that County Judge Mark Keough’s driver’s license was suspended from February 24, 2021 through May 24, 2021 as punishment for his DWI guilty plea. However, the terms of his license suspension were recently discovered by the Montgomery County Gazette.
On the same day Keough received his DWI criminal sentence, which included a 90-day suspension of his driver’s license, his attorney filed a civil case to reinstate Keough’s driving privileges for 8 hours of drive time per day.
In the petition, filed by Keough’s attorney Douglas Atkinson, Keough claimed he “has an essential need to operate a motor vehicle in the performance of his occupation, travel to and from his home to his occupation and to perform essential household duties and needs.”
The petition goes on to request that Keough be allowed to use an occupational driver’s license for not just the typical 4 hour a day restriction under “ex parte” requests, but for 8 hours a day. Keough’s reasoning? His status as an essential worker.
The civil petition states, “In the event [Keough] is unable to obtain this license to operate a motor vehicle, he would not be able to provide for his family or their essential needs. These needs would consist of travel to and from his home, to and from his place of occupation and trade, other areas where he performs his duties as associated in his occupation, religious activities, educational activities, medical needs, to purchase food, attend any rehabilitation, community service, probation and any other essential household duties associated with his family duties and needs.”
Keough’s request was granted the same day it was filed on February 24, 2021. Instead of losing his driving privileges for 90 days, he only had to keep a log of his driving to ensure he did not drive more than 8 hours in any 24-hour period.
The “ex parte” case also disclosed a Texas Department of Public Safety Certified Abstract Record of Mark Keough’s driver’s license. The abstract contained an enforcement history proving Keough’s driver’s license was previously revoked by the Medical Advisory Board from October 19, 2017 through December 13, 2017 after his March 17, 2017 collision with a flatbed truck in Austin.
Timeline of Keough’s Driving History
March 28, 2017 – Accident in Austin, Texas
October 19, 2017 through December 13, 2017 – Driver’s License suspended by Medical Advisory Board
September 10, 2020 – DWI accident in The Woodlands causing Keough to be hospitalized.
Early October 2020 – Keough was released from the hospital after pelvic and hip surgery with medical restrictions not to drive until released by his doctor.
November 10, 2020 – Keough added a Deputy to the County Judge’s office as a driver and security guard.
December 8, 2020 – Keough was charged with DWI and an arrest warrant was issued. He was allowed to finish his day at work, go home, and attend his fundraiser that night.
December 9, 2020 – Keough booked in and out of the Montgomery County Jail.
December 18, 2020 – Keough pled “not guilty” to DWI.
February 24, 2021 – Keough changed his plea to “guilty” of DWI and his driver’s license was suspended for 90 days from February 24, 2021 through May 24, 2021.
February 24, 2021 – (Same day as his DWI sentence) Keough filed a civil “ex parte” petition in County Court At Law #1 to deem himself too essential to be without his driver’s license.
February 24, 2021 – (Same day “ex parte” petition was filed) Keough’s petition to drive again was granted the same day it was filed.
The civil “ex parte” petition filed by Keough’s attorney can be found below:
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