BCSO deputies hit streets to keep drunk drivers off roads

DWI stops, arrests are time consuming but save lives, deputies say

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputies are hitting the streets as they work to keep drunk drivers off the road.

Deputy Jimmy Bustamante has worked in the traffic safety and DWI units for nearly 12 years. He’s the most senior unit member and helps train other deputies effectively document DWI stops to ensure the charges stick.

“I’ve seen fatalities. I’ve seen lots of drunks. I lost count. Once I hit over 1,000 DWIs, I stopped counting after that,” he said.

Each arrest could take three or more hours by the time all the tests and evaluations are complete. But Bustamante said taking drunk drivers off the road is an important part of the job to keep the community safe.

In November alone, the Bexar County District Attorney’s office accepted more than 560 DWI-related type cases from all law enforcement agencies -- 329 of them were first-time offenses or class B misdemeanors, and 34 others were felonies. Three cases were rejected.

Officials say that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the morning are the deadliest times of the year for DWI-related type crashes.

Bustamante said every arrest is different, and sometimes he’s even caught off guard.

“I’ve had people thank me for me arresting them,” he said. “You have people that will say, ‘Thank you, sir. I need help.’”

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.