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       Friday, March 24, 2006

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Texas Attempting To Become A Dry State?

At the local pub I patronize, we've been wondering if the owners have pissed someone off. I've been trying to figure out what's been going on now for close to eight weeks. Well now we know - the news has reached all the way to England. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is using an increase in funding to conduct sting operations to arrest people for public intoxication inside of bars.

Anne Marie Kilday at the Houston Chronicle reports that TABC announced the program six months ago. Perhaps they did, but the program has just recently gained national and international attention. Unfortunately, so little of the attention focuses on the idiocy of the program or the people it's pissing off. Almost all of it I've seen in the past couple of days has parroted the TABC position - only the Dallas, TX NBC site and the Telegraph - both linked above - have mentioned the other side to any extent I've noticed.

We've been trying to get someone to notice our plight for quite a while now, and the news media are almost unanimously giving only the TABC side.

Carolyn Beck, a TABC spokeswoman, said "people still think that a bar is place to go get drunk," as quoted by the Houston Chronicle. Imagine that! She also said the people being arrested (over 2200 of them now) "are not people who had a couple of beers with dinner. They are people who are so drunk that they caught the attention of a TABC agent."

The Telegraph notes,

"We feel that the only way we're going to get at the drunk-driving problem and the problem of people hurting each other while drunk is by crackdowns like this," Ms Beck said. "There are a lot of dangerous and stupid things people do when they're intoxicated, other than get behind the wheel of a car."

"People walk out into traffic and get run over. People jump off balconies trying to reach a swimming pool and miss."

Not at our bar! If ours is any indication of how the rest of Texas' bars are being treated, the whole program stinks. Not only is the program apparently not aimed at reducing drunk drivers, it could care less about "responsible drinking."

You ask for examples? How about the three most ridiculous arrests, just from my tiny bar in a Houston suburb?

  • We've had our bartender arrested for serving one person two drinks. One was for the customer's boyfriend, and they attested to this fact at the time. Neither were "falling down drunk."
  • We had a patron arrested for playing trivia and drinking diet coke. No alcohol - just caught up in the sting.
  • While walking from the bar to a cab that he called, a customer was arrested for public intoxication.

To be sure, there may have been legitimate arrests or citations at our bar, but we of course focus on the absurd. And all of it is absurd, especially "saving people from themselves."

The point is that TABC, even if it had been limiting itself to arresting people who were stupid-drunk, is attempting to prevent behavior which might or might not result in someone being harmed. Even without trying to sound alarmist, this screams of Minority Report. Stop arresting people trying to prevent real crimes from being committed. It's quite Gestapo-like for the "land of the free."

The TABC complaint line (courtesy of Hammer of Truth), can be reached at 888-843-8222, 512-206-3221, or
for anyone who might wish to show some solidarity with us Texans.

Sammy Standard blogs at The Academy For The Constitutionally Challenged :: Whataloadacrap!

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posted by Sammy Standard at 6:40 PM  


Lonnie said...

If they would have had that law when I was stationed there I might never have gotten this damned tattoo...

Seriously, that is unreal...And I live in the last fortress of lost liberties...

To end on a less serious note: maybe this will spread to the zealous Japanese police...It would shut down the whole island! what a way to reduce our trade deficit!

8:26 PM  
D. Elrod said...

A result of the smoking bans going up everywhere.

I think it's amusing. The leftists are getting a taste of what their attack on smokers has brought about.

8:43 AM  

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