Independence Day DWIs down in San Antonio, but still cause for concern, police say

SAPD arrested 11 for DWI on July 4th

SAN ANTONIO – Azeza Salama, who lost her fiancé of a deadly DWI crash victim, revisited her experience with KSAT 12 hoping to prevent others from having to feel the same pain.

”Drunk driving is 100% preventable,” Salama said.

This Fourth of July, San Antonio police made 11 DWI arrests. Even though San Antonio city and Bexar County parks were closed, and major events throughout the area were canceled, this year’s numbers weren’t much lower than last year’s when there were 15. San Antonio police officer Doug Greene says the slight improvement isn’t anything to brag about.

”If that number was just one, that’s very concerning because that means that somebody was out there under the influence over the legal limit,” Greene said.

Fortunately, the arrests this Independence Day were made before anyone was injured, Greene said. But that’s not the case every day.

”I was turning on the radio station just like this. And then I looked up and all I could see was lights coming straight at me,” Salama said.

Back on February 28, 2016, Salama and her two children were passengers in their car being driven by her fiancé, Johnny Hernandez, on Walzem and I-35.

A wrong-way driver, later found to be impaired, hit them head on. That driver and Hernandez both died. Salama and her children’s lives changed forever.

Man killed in wrong-way crash had plans to marry, relative says

”My daughter’s just turned five... last week. And it’s it’s really tough to explain to her that, you know, her dad passed away because of the drunk driver,” Salama said. “It was not an accident that he was drunk and drove, he made a senseless decision.”

On June 25, 2020 there was another DWI crash near the same site.

SAPD: Driver who ran 2 red lights, crashed into van had drugs in car, smelled of intoxicants

She says seeing the news definitely triggered painful memories, but since her ordeal shes managed the trauma by joining the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization which provides free helo to victims like her.