Fiesta partiers have safe, sober ride options

Police to step up DWI patrols during 11-day party

Two days before the city's biggest party featuring parades, cascarones and lots of alcohol, community leaders urged Fiesta-goers to plan ahead if they plan to drink.

"If you're going to take a drink, don't get behind the wheel," said San Antonio police Chief William McManus. "If the last tragedy of a family wiped out by a drunk driver, if that doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will."

He was referring to the weekend crash that claimed the life of a mother, father and two daughters from Brackettville.

Police, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office DWI task force, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Department of Public Safety troopers will step up patrols, concentrating on keeping drunks off the roads.

And there will be no refusing blood-alcohol tests.

Last Fiesta, police arrested 373 people on suspicion of drunken driving. Some 85 of those had twice the legal limit of alcohol in their systems.

The past two Fiestas, there were zero beer- and booze-related deaths, a statistic community leaders and law enforcement wants to repeat. 

The Texas Department of Transportation, along with Valero, Silver Eagle Distributors, SAPD, Fiesta Commission, Yellow Cab and Gabriel's Wine & Spirits kicked off thier "Fiesta Safe Rides" campaign to educate Fiesta-goers about the dangers of drinking and driving and about their other options.

They will be giving away plastic cards, pre-loaded with $20 toward a Yellow Cab ride.  

TxDOT and others will be handing out 2,500 beginning Wednesday and during Fiesta events until they run out. The cards are reloadable.

"They plan their Fiesta outfits, they plan how they will display Fiesta medals, we want them to plan a safe way home," said Jennifer Northway, executive director of San Antonio's Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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