Citing concerns over public safety, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus announced additional measures his department would take during Fiesta, including mandatory breathalyzer tests for attendees.
Police will set up sobriety stations at the exits of a number of Fiesta events, from NIOSA to the Pooch Parade. All attendees will be required to submit to a breathalyzer or face arrest.
“Fiesta revelers pose a significant threat to the general public. You can’t know what type of person would choose to celebrate Fiesta or what sort of trouble they are looking to cause,” McManus said.
The police chief clarified that those donning Fiesta medals would be placed under extra scrutiny and would be forced to subject to a mandatory blood draw to determine their level of sobriety.
“Medal-wearers aren’t there for the roasted corn and turkey legs. They are advertising their intent for wanton death and destruction. It is our job to minimize that threat before they are unleashed on San Antonio roadways.”
He added that revelers wearing extravagant Fiesta sombreros
would be arrested on the spot.
McManus ensured that those whose blood-alcohol level measures over the legal limit of 0.08 will be hauled off to jail. Fiesta-goers with a legal limit of alcohol detected in their systems will be ushered into taxi cabs whether or not they intended to get behind the wheel.
Last week, McManus made headlines for favoring the city’s taxi companies by threatening to arrest drivers of ride-sharing operations like Lyft or Uber. He stated that mandatory taxi rides for those returning back to their homes or hotels were meant to counter the economic loss taxi companies will face now that ride-sharing services have entered the San Antonio market.
The Texas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued a statement in response to the heightened police measures.
“We applaud SAPD and McManus’ commitment to public safety, especially on San Antonio’s highways and streets, but it seems like a bit much, doesn’t it?”
Bud Light, a Fiesta sponsor, whose product is guzzled at various Fiesta events also issued a response.
“We don’t know what the big deal is. It’s basically glorified water.”
A request for comment was sent to the office of Mayor Julián Castro. Representatives for the mayor promised to issue a formal statement once they figured out exactly what McManus is up to.
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