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New San Antonio program helps drunk deputies get home safely

By Trey Hilburn
La Prensa de San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Lately San Antonio has seen an increasing number of deputies being arrested for drunk driving. In fact after winning the election, newly appointed Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has seen four deputies arrested for DWI in Bexar County alone.

“My first week as sheriff I woke to video of a Bexar County Deputy being charged with DWI… within my first 27 days, three deputies were arrested for DWI… one deputy arrested is too many,” said Sheriff Pamerleau.

In light of these issues, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County (DSABC) has partnered with Yellow Cab San Antonio and Mother Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D) to put together a program to get deputies who may have had too much to drink a safe ride home.

The new “safe ride home program” gives association members a ride home by way of Yellow Cab. DSABC members will be given a card with the phone number for Yellow Cab. With that card they are able to show the cab driver their credentials and be given a free ride to their homes. The program also extends to DSABC family members.

In setting up this program Sheriff Pamerleau is hopeful that they are setting the bar high and making role models in the process.

“It is just as easy to continue to ensure that if you and your friends or family has a couple of fun nights on the town it is just as easy to plan ahead and use a designated driver. We encourage you to go on our website and download the “I am the designated driver” coupon and use it as a reminder to take turns,” added Jennifer Northway, executive Director of MADD.”

“Yellow Cab in San Antonio has over 570 cabs in the greater San Antonio area and we are pleased to be part of this program and we will serve the deputies and their families however they need,” John Bouloubasis, president of Yellow cab confirmed.

No word yet on how much the program will cost or how long DSABC will continue the program.

“I’m hoping the cost is minimal, not because people aren’t using it, but because they don’t need it,” Pamerleau predicted.

The hope from all parties involved is that all association members take advantage of the program and use this instead of getting behind the wheel. The issue of drunk driving amongst deputies as of late is re­enforcing the fact that there is nobody above the law. It is a wake-up call to law enforcement that is going to be backed by Sheriff Pamerleau’s watchful eye.

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