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SAPD officers train on DWI blood draw program

Web-based pilot program to be implemented during Fiesta

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Fiesta is in full swing and area law enforcement has been keeping busy cracking down on drunken driving offenders.

It's a time-consuming process.

"It can take an hour and a half (or as much as) three hours, depending on the circumstances," said Castle Hills Police Department Cpl. Jose Davila.

Davila said most of the time is spent filling out paperwork.

However, that's about to get easier.

On Wednesday morning, about 50 officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the area met to learn a new Web-based program developed by the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. It speeds up the process of obtaining a search warrant to draw blood from a DWI suspect.

Davila said in most cases, officers have to fill out a significant amount of paperwork, then go to the magistrates office to enter information on one of two computers.

The new system will allow officers to get the paperwork done on just about any computer, including the ones in their vehicles or on personal tablets.

"It's the same system we've had in place," said David Henderson, with the Bexar County DA's DWI Task Force. "This just makes it more efficient for the officers."

"It'll definitely expedite the booking process and facilitate the DWI arrest and also in turn get the officer back out on the street for other potential hazards," said Davila.

The system is being introduced as a pilot program during Fiesta.

If all goes well, it should be fully implemented in the next couple of months.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.

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