Recent drunk-driving fatalities a concern for MADD

SAN ANTONIO – Two people were killed by suspected drunk drivers in less than 20 minutes Tuesday night. The drunk-driving crashes were not related and happened in opposite parts of the city, but they are concerning to members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, especially with St. Patrick’s day coming up on Friday and Fiesta not too far off.

Jason Derscheid, executive director of MADD, said per capita, Bexar County leads the state in drunk-driving fatalities.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2015, there were 56 drunk-driving fatalities in San Antonio and in Bexar County, there were 71.

"What we see on the county magistrate's website, in the last 24 hours, there have been 19 people arrested for drunk-driving offenses," Derscheid said Wednesday.

Derscheid said MADD officials believe it has to do with how far San Antonio is spread out.

"I think we have a less developed transportation system then a lot of other places," Derscheid said. "On top of it, it hasn't been until really recently that we hadn't had defined areas of neighborhoods where people have really gone to. Those neighborhoods are typically spread out and not really walkable."

From Spring Break to St. Patrick's Day on Friday to Fiesta next month, Derscheid said MADD is encouraging people who plan to drink to have a designated driver, take public transportation or use ride-share apps.

"We've been working very closely with SAPD and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, as well," Derscheid said. "There is going to be ramped-up enforcement. We want people to know that the cops are going to be out there. If you decide to drink and drive, odds are you're going to get pulled over."

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