Drunk In Texas

From The Houston Chronicle online:

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is sending undercover officers into bars to look for the exceedingly drunk, issuing citations or making arrests for public intoxication even if the patrons haven't left the building.

"Drinking is fine," said agency spokeswoman Carolyn Beck. "But when people drink too much, they become dangerous to themselves and other people."

And there's more...

In Texas, the blood alcohol limit for drunken driving is .08 percent. But the law also defines public intoxication as "not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties" because of alcohol or other drugs.

Public intoxication is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. An offender can be cited or arrested. Many jails require that someone arrested be detained for at least four to 12 hours.

Bar patrons may be approached if an officer spots them behaving erratically, such as having difficulty walking or standing.

For me that would be maybe 2 glasses of wine, or 1 shot of anything stronger. The reasoning behind this bizarre governmental behavior is that they (the TABC) are keeping drunk drivers off the road, and drunks from hurting themselves and others. However they have arrested people thus far who didn't own cars, had designated drivers (the supposed definition of drinking responsibly), and even patrons of hotel bars who were staying in the same hotel.

Thus there's a more likely explanation for the TABC's bizarre implementation of their apparent mandate. Like any government bureaucracy intoxicated on their own authority, they are doing it because they can.

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Any "public safety" reasons

Any "public safety" reasons for doing this are ludicrous, as I could drink at home, then leave the house and do any activity I could do if I drank at a bar. They're doing it because they can make $500 a pop.

I always wonder at what

I always wonder at what point I would just snap and start physically fighting back (understanding that I would probably lose) instead of trying to debate and persuade. I think if this ever happened to me I might reach that point.

Good thing I don't own a bar

Good thing I don't own a bar in Texas. Actions such as that would prompt me to hire my own security just to keep the 5-0 out. For some reason, doing what the TABC is doing would only make government appear less legitimate.

For those of you with

For those of you with rational minds out there, this is for you...

What is the definition of a "public place"? I thought bars were privately owned and restricted access to adults only?

In East Texas ( Longview ) all bars are private clubs. Maybe that is the future of the rest of Texas as well? Does that prevent the "TABC Gestapo SS" from intruding there, I wonder?

Also, I think that no government agency should be funded from fines they collect. All fines should be funneled into some charitable fund such as treatment centers for alcholics or homeless people, thereby removing the incentive for individuals to abuse their authority for monetary reasons.

Humbly Submitted,

Old Fashioned Horse Sense

Having a private club, as

Having a private club, as the liquor laws require in some Texas counties, does not keep TABC out. They can go anywhere a state liquor license is required, though I think they would be hard pressed to enforce drunkenness in public statutes in a private club.

Then again, who knows. There is not a more powerful agency other than the Texas Rangers in the state. I think this has less to do with revenue than with pandering to two very powerful constituencies who don't like liquor at all - Baptists and MADD.

I can't believe that the

I can't believe that the people of the great state of Texas would allow this! REMEBER THE ALAMO? Daniel Boone is rolling over in his grave. When i was first told of this i didnt believe it.I dont think california would even go this far.I have heard of this law from a long time ago, it was in 1945 Germany!

Here in Central Texas,

Here in Central Texas, namely at alot of the bars in Harker Heights, the 5-0 are arresting people in bars and stating that a bar is a public place! I also thought that bars were privately owned and you needed to buy membership at the door to even be inside? How can that be construed as a public place then? The City Library is considered a PUBLIC place, the City Park is a PUBLIC place, the City Swimming Pool is also a PUBLIC place~~I guess y'all see where this is going. Now think about this: If you have a fender bender on the road in any mobile home park, in McDonald's parking lot, in a church parking lot, even a bar parking lot~~you DO NOT get a police report, what you DO GET is a blue form from the police that you have to fill out and file with your insurance company, should you want to report the incident. WHY can you not get an 'accident report' from your local police? BECAUSE THE ACCIDENT OCCURED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND THEY FLAT OUT TELL YOU THIS!!!!

P-R-I-V-A-T- P-R-O-P-E-R-T-Y!!

So now tell me, how can the arresting officers justify their actions by stating: A bar is a public place and it is illegal in Texas to be intoxicated in a public place. That is how they worded it in the Killeen Daily Herald, basically word for word!

Hmmmmmmmm MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT!