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Texas Billboard Shows Names And Faces Of Drunk Drivers

SAN ANTONIO, Texas ~ (KXAN/ AP) ~ A dozen digital billboards in Texas not only read, "Drink. Drive. Go To Jail", but will now feature names and photos of suspected drunk drivers currently being sought by the law.

San Antonio Police Sergeant Charlie Delgado said the partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor, donator of the billboard space as a public service, is unique to San Antonio. The program is a cooperative effort launched by San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The signs will show the names and facial photographs of suspects with active warrants, issued for their arrest, on charges for drunken driving-related offenses; typically a third DWI, intoxication assault and/or vehicular manslaughter.

“It's a way for us to bring these people to justice,” Delgado said. “A lot of these are repeat offenders, and they're out there still. We're trying to improve safety for the community by getting them in, (making them) answer for their crimes and maybe (we can) get them into treatment or put them in jail.” Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed said, “this demonstrates that you have law enforcement and the community all recognizing what a problem we have in our county in relation to drunk driving and all coming together to find solutions.”

Luis de la Torre, General Manager at Clear Channel, said the program offered an opportunity for the advertiser to get involved. “We take messages to people when they're out on the streets, and that's exactly where the DWI problem is, so it just seemed like a perfect marriage to put them together,” he said. De la Torre said he hopes the fugitives that see themselves on the modern-day wanted poster will feel accountable enough to turn themselves in. The signs will run for 20 hours per day, from 6:00am until 2:00am, for at least 30 days; phone lines will be staffed and open 24 hours per day, and anyone with information that can assist police in making an arrest is urged to call 210-225-TIPS.

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