Local officers begin holiday DWI enforcement

Extra prosecutors also on duty for expected increase of arrests

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter, tgerber@ksat.com
Published On: Dec 20 2012 09:33:26 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 21 2012 05:27:04 AM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

Diana Silva knows all too well the pain that can be inflicted by a drunk driver.

On November 23, 2008, Silva's son David was killed on his way home from the movies when his car was hit at Callaghan and Highway 151.

"Your life can change in a heartbeat," Silva said. "A drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned his car. He was brain dead when they took him to the hospital and he didn't survive "

Santos Constancio, the 34-year-old driver who killed Silva, wasn't a first time offender. He already had two DWI convictions - one in 2002 and another in 2003.

"This November was four years and it's just something that doesn't go away. It hurts, it's painful," Silva said.

Hoping to spare other families the same pain officers from several local law enforcement agencies gathered in front of the AT&T Center Thursday night for a special DWI roll call.

The officers are putting their lives on the line to save yours buy looking for drunk drivers.

If they catch you, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer won't help you. Investigators will just take your blood.

"And if you don't want to give blood then they'll strap you down and take your blood," said SAPD Chief William McManus. "You don't want to be in that position anytime, especially around the holidays."

Now in its second year, the Bexar County District Attorney's year round no refusal policy means prosecutors have a better chance of convicting drunk drivers.

"We're going to work as hard inside the courtroom as they are working out on the streets," said David Henderson, Chief prosecutor for Bexar County's DWI Task Force. "We have extra personnel to make sure we can handle any volume of cases that are coming in to the magistrates office."

Despite the efforts of the officers and prosecutors, Diana Silva wonders if the message is getting through.

"People still don't get it, they still get behind the wheel drunk," Silva said. "I guess they don't learn until it happens to them."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.