Texas Airs Others’ Dirty Laundry on Billboards

Gavel with Money

Missing children have graced the sides of milk cartons in years passed.  Wanted posters have been on display at post offices since time immemorial.  Texas has made the use of wanted signs even more public than these other examples.

Billboards threaten drivers in Texas with the assertion “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail,” but now digital billboards in the San Antonio area will feature the names and photos of suspected drunken drivers who are pending arrest.  Any calls to the tip line will not be rewarded monetarily but rather ethically.

The billboards will feature drivers sought for charges also including intoxication assault or vehicular manslaughter.  This is an attempt to show that the community and the police department are united in solving the drunk driving epidemic in Texas.  Police Chief William McManus said the city has had nearly 3,500 DWI arrests so far this year. The billboards project is supported by the group San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Clear Channel.

“It’s a way for us to bring these people to justice. 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,” said SAPD Sgt. Charlie Delgado.

The “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” Texas Department of Public Safety campaign urges Texans to avoid a DWI conviction by using alternative means of transportation, such as calling a cab, designating a sober driver ahead of time, using public transportation, staying put, calling a friend or family member for a ride, taking a cab and more.  If the alternative is a billboard advertising your crimes, it just might be worth it to be more careful.

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