by Morgan Montalvo
1200 WOAI News
Law enforcement agencies and their criminal justice partners across Bexar County are receiving collective recognition for their work in taking - and keeping - drunken drivers off the streets, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The annual "take the Wheel" Awards are a high-profile way the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter thanks area peace officers, probation officers and department administrators for anti-DWI efforts.
MADD's Bexar County chapter this year is recognizing about 80 individuals at the local and state levels in varied categories, the group's Jackie Ipina tells WOAI News.
"Not necessarily are they arresting people," says Ipina, 'but they're educating, providing prevention to community partners, to college students, to people all in Bexar County."
She says the area's small police agencies deliver big results when it comes to dealing with impaired motorists."
Even through they're small departments, they might not have a specific unit for traffic safety but they still do their job of trying to get these drunk drivers off the road," Ipina says.
Each year, according to figures provided by MADD, police arrest about 1 million drivers in the U.S. for drunken or drugged driving.
On average 45,000 of those arrests are made in Bexar County, Ipina says.