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San Antonio police release DWI stats from Fiesta

A San Antonio Police vehicle parked in this TPR file photo from June 2020.
Dominic Anthony Walsh
Texas Public Radio
File photo: A San Antonio Police vehicle parked in this TPR file photo from June 2020.

The San Antonio Police Department released DWI statistics during Fiesta from March 31 through April 10, which showed 129 arrests.

While even one DWI is one too many for law enforcement, around 3 million people attend Fiesta in an average year — which would make the percentage of attendees arrested less than .005%. Also, police officials point out all DWI arrests during those 11 days may not have been connected to Fiesta.

This year's celebration marked the 11th straight year there were no Fiesta-related traffic fatalities.

The city's biggest celebration of the year includes three major parades: The Texas Cavalier's River Parade, the Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau Parades; and major events like Night in Old San Antonio, the St. Mary's Oyster Bake, and Taste of New Orleans, where a large amount of alcohol is consumed.

Police said the 129 arrests this year marks a continuing decline in DWI arrests during Fiesta in recent years. Last year, even during a scaled down Fiesta due to the pandemic, there were 169 arrests.

SAPD arrested 204 people for DWI during Fiesta 2019, and 227 people during Fiesta 2018.

The Texas Department of Transportation and local partners, including the SAPD, Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, VIA

Metropolitan Transit or Rideshare, team up each Fiesta to launch a coordinated campaign against drunk driving.

Fiesta 2022 also featured the "Plan While You Can" campaign, that emphasized making a safety plan prior to leaving home.

TxDOT displayed safety messages on its large signs across San Antonio highways during the city-wide party. TxDOT encouraged attendees to have a "P.A.S.S." or "Person Appointed to Stay Sober" during Fiesta. The designated P.A.S.S. is a person with no alcohol in their system.

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