‘No Refusal’ period declared during Poteet Strawberry Festival

Authorities can require breath or blood samples from suspected drunk drivers in Atascosa County through Sunday

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of people are expected to return to Atascosa County this weekend for the Poteet Strawberry Festival, one of the largest events in the region since the pandemic began. And law enforcement will be out in force to help keep roads safe.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Transportation, Atascosa County Attorney’s office and the 81st Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office among other agencies are partnering for a “no refusal” program this weekend.

That means anyone arrested for driving while intoxicated will be required to submit a breath or blood sample.

“It’s important because DWI is one of the most selfish offenses that are committed, because what you’re doing is jeopardizing every other human being that’s on the roadway,” said Audrey Louis, District Attorney for the 81st Judicial Circuit. “It could be a woman who’s coming home from waitressing and she’s a single mom, and has kids, and she may never make it because you chose to drive after drinking and having a good time at the Strawberry Festival.”

If a suspected drunk driver refuses to take a breath test at the scene during the no refusal period, law enforcement will get a search warrant for a blood sample, which will be conducted at Methodist Hospital South in Jourdanton.

Louis and other law enforcement officials urge people who plan to drink alcohol at the festival to designate a driver or plan for alternate transportation.

“It is a great time for family and friends to go have fun,” Louis said. “But, what we need you to remember is, if you’re choosing to drink, do not get behind the wheel.”

The festival runs through Sunday.

In past years, organizers said as many as 100,000 people traveled to Poteet during the festival weekend.

Last year’s festival was canceled due to the pandemic.

Read more on our traffic page.

About the Author

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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