The 74th Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival is back this weekend so let the fun begin! However, Atascosa County law enforcement along with the County and District Attorney’s Offices are taking aim at drunk drivers with a “DWI No Refusal” period set for this weekend.
During this time, patrol officers will saturate the areas frequented by visitors to the festival. As always, law enforcement will be watching for violations and conducting traffic stops. During these stops, they will look for signs of intoxication. If someone is suspected of driving under the influence, the driver will be asked to perform the standard field sobriety tests. Those who fail the test will be taken into custody.
The “No Refusal Weekend” is designed to allow police and other law enforcement officials to work in coordination with prosecutors and judges to quickly obtain “blood draw warrants” for drivers who refuse to provide a breath sample. With the approval of a judge, anyone suspected of impaired driving who unlawfully refuses to provide a breath sample is subject to blood testing at the nearest medical facility. The program helps ensure prosecutors obtain the scientific evidence needed to effectively pursue cases involving impaired driving.
The task force includes the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Poteet Police Department, the Pleasanton Police Department, and the Jourdanton Police Department with assistance from the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Atascosa County Attorney’s Office.
Atascosa County’s very own Methodist Hospital | South has also teamed up with this initiative in providing officers and members of the District Attorney’s Office a space to work. Should an officer suspect that someone is under the influence while driving, Methodist Hospital South will partner with law enforcement and the DA’s Office to provide courtesy blood draws and assist with any additional needed testing.
For many, attending the Poteet Strawberry Festival has become an annual tradition. Unfortunately, for some, that tradition also includes drinking and driving. With the Strawberry Festival being one of the first festivals in the area since the start of the pandemic, and the forecasted great weather, a high attendance is anticipated.
The 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office said their hope is that those attending will enjoy all the Strawberry Festival has to offer, but if they choose to drink, they will make alternative arrangements and not put the rest of the drivers on the roadways at risk.
The Poteet Strawberry Festival kicks off tonight with the carnival. Wristbands are available for $25 per person which includes all rides. There is no gate admission fee for tonight. Be sure to grab this week’s Pleasanton Express which features the 2021 Poteet Strawberry Festival special tab that highlights the full schedule of events, food booths, map and more!