San Antonio Posts DWI Offenders on Billboards
Twelve digital billboards in San Antonio, TX, have begun spotlighting photos and names of felony drunk drivers with active warrants out for their arrest.
As KSAT 12 News Reporter Charles Gonzalez writes:
‘We’re talking about folks who have killed somebody, who have significantly injured somebody or who are a felony-level DWI offender who has multiple DWI arrests,’ said Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed.
There’s no monetary reward for calling the tip line and helping turn these people in but San Antonio police Chief Bill McManus said there’s something more compelling. ‘The intrinsic reward is getting them off the street so that they can’t hurt anybody,’ he said.
District Attorney Reed said the billboards have two purposes: to help police track down the drunk driving suspects with help from the public, and to remind all drivers that drunk driving is a problem and that people need to think before they drive while intoxicated.
Clear Channel Outdoor donated the billboard space as a public service, in a cooperative effort with the San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Luis de la Torre, general manager with Clear Channel Outdoor, said he hopes the fugitives who see themselves on the billboards feel accountable enough to turn themselves in.
The wanted posters of the felony drunk drivers will appear on the digital billboards for 20 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., for at least a month. During that time, phone lines will be open 24 hours a day, and anyone with information that can help make an arrest is asked to call 210-225-TIPS. The digital billboards will cycle through the names and photos of five suspects each week, from among the area’s more than 100 felony drunk driving suspects.
“The very life that we save could be your neighbor, could be your child, could be your spouse,” District Attorney Susan Reed said.
Claire Cardona reports on MySanAntonio.com:
San Antonio police have made 3,450 DWI arrests so far this year, said Police Chief William McManus. There have been 64 fatality crashes causing 67 deaths so far this year, with alcohol involved in 17 of those crashes, he said.
In one of the comments below a WOAI.com article about the billboards, a former truck driver named Michael T., who lost a leg when his truck was hit by a drunk driver, posted the following:
Driving is NOT a right, IT IS A PRIVILEGE. First off if you are arrested for DWI/DUI the vehicle you are driving should be impounded for 90 days, and the license revoked for no less than 5 years. You can rant and rave that the jails are full but so are the grave yards, full of people that were killed by drunks. So watch out drunks, if I see your picture and then your face while I do what little driving I can do, you can bet you will [be] spending time where you should have been since that first time…because that was the only chance anyone should get.
Image by Clear Channel Outdoor San Antonio, used under Fair Use: Reporting.