DWI arrests during Fiesta down from past two years, SAPD data says

Arrests in 2024 are the lowest in five years

SAN ANTONIO – While several instances of crime hang over this year’s Fiesta, the San Antonio police department reports a decrease in DWI arrests.

During the 11 days of city-wide celebrations, the data shows 114 arrests were made for DWI offenses during Fiesta.

The data shows that the day with the highest number of arrests this year occurred on Saturday, April 20, with 18 arrests, and the lowest on Thursday, April 18, with two arrests.

This year, 37 fewer people were arrested for DWI compared to 151 DWI arrests during Fiesta in 2023.

In 2022, the total number of arrests was 129.

This year, at least one intoxication manslaughter case happened during Fiesta.

A motorcyclist is accused of driving drunk and killing his passenger after the pair left a Fiesta event on April 20.

Below is a chart showing the total number of DWI arrests over the last six years:

Below is a day-by-day breakdown of DWI arrests during this year’s Fiesta:

“Law enforcement does an excellent job in preparing for Fiesta every year,” said Azeza Salama, executive director of the Free Riders Program. “We’re just trying to keep with this momentum and keep going.”

The Free Riders Program is an initiative that brings together more than a dozen bars. Their owners all have pledged to provide free rides to prevent impaired driving. You can tell a bar is a part of the initiative by a designated “Free Ride” green sticker. Salama said these are usually posted in bathrooms or near the bar itself.

Salama said this year’s data from SAPD shows a change in San Antonio, but she hopes these changes stick for more than just a Fiesta season.

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About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital journalist at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, reading and watching movies.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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