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Local law enforcement looks to keep 2023 Chilifest festivities safe

Chilifest will kick off on March 31, and local law enforcement agencies are banding together to make sure the roads are safe (and hopefully free) from drunk drivers.

SNOOK, Texas — Chilifest has been a Snook staple for many years. 

The two-day music festival draws in over 35,000 people each year featuring some of the biggest names in country and rock music. 

While there is much to be excited about, these Texas-sized events also need the proper safety precautions to be in place.

Local agencies like Burleson County, Brazos County Law Enforcement, Chilifest, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Watch UR BAC Alcohol and Drug awareness program have banded together to make sure Chilifest attendants enjoy the festivities without potentially putting others at risk. 

Ben Smith, program coordinator for the Watch UR BAC said, “Chilifest weekend can be a very fun time but if it leads to crashes and arrests for DWI. Then that fun quickly turns into a nightmare than can last a very long time.”

The consequences for driving while intoxicated will be more severe this weekend. While there isn't ever a good time to drive under the influence, the number of people that attend the event can create more risks for those behind the wheel.

“First time DWI you're looking to up to 180 days in jail. If the blood alcohol content is a .15 or above you're looking to one year in jail that’s an awfully high price to pay for a single night of drinking,” confirmed Brazos Attorney, Earl Gray. 

In fact, the presence of law enforcement has kept the number of arrests low. 

“Last year we only had 3 DWIs which is great because that’s showing that the attendees of Chilifest are using these rideshare programs and using those busses so that’s great we are hoping this year we can have 0 DWIs and 0 alcohol related events happen after Chilifest,” said Texas DPS Sergeant Justin Ruiz.

Above all, local agencies want Chilifest attendees to know that there are resources available to them to avoid making dangerous choices. 

“This year we have a great partnership with Fetii, the bus company here in town that’s gonna facilitate bus rides from post oak mall back to post oak mall and when you get back you have rides to get to and from different destinations in the city,” explained TNT Security Services Director of Operations, Shawn Dunham.

Furthermore, the local law enforcement officials that would become involved in an alcohol-related crash hope that they won't have to deliver a difficult message to someone, especially in a weekend of great festivities. 

“These fine law enforcement men and women do not want to investigate a fatality crash this weekend that will result in them making a death notification to somebody’s parents it has happened before during Chilifest weekend.” said Smith.

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