In the first 27 days of Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau's time in office, three sheriff’s deputies have been arrested under the suspicion of DWI. To discourage deputies from driving while drunk, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County is providing free cab rides those who need a ride home.
Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said a deputy relaxing when they’re off-duty is understandable.
"But when relaxation turns into intoxication and the deputy gets behind the wheel, that is unacceptable," she said.
While behaviors cannot be changed overnight, the sheriff said the resources for a safe ride home need to be provided. The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County is working with Yellow Cab to provide free cab rides to intoxicated off-duty deputies who are members.
Association President Joel Janssen said the 1,040 member deputies will be given a laminated card that is shown to the driver along with their badge. They’re taken home, and the fare is paid by the association.
"Our deputies are good people, but sometimes they have too much to drink and we just want to give them an alternative to drinking and driving," Janssen said.
The deputies will be allowed an unlimited number of confidential rides made only known to the association. But if it sees an abuse of the program they will be given counseling. There is a similar program for county employees but it does not allow unlimited use.
Out of the three deputies arrested under suspicion of DWI, Susana Cervantes - who was arrested in early January - has put in her resignation.