T Nation

Shades of Minority Report?



Officials Make Public Intoxication Arrests Inside Bars
POSTED: 4:04 pm CST March 15, 2006
UPDATED: 9:44 am CST March 17, 2006

IRVING, Texas -- The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has taken its fight against drunken driving to a new level. TABC agents, along with Irving police, targeted 36 bars and clubs Friday, arresting some allegedly intoxicated patrons before they departed the businesses.

The officers and agents also kept watch on bartenders who might have over-served patrons.

Agents arrested 30 people Friday night. Most of the suspects now face charges of public intoxication.

The agents and Irving police officers traveled from bar to bar and worked undercover, according to an NBC 5 report.

The report also said that some agents shared tables with suspected drunken patrons. Some patrons were subjected to field sobriety tests inside bars.

Agents and officers said the operation represented an effort to reduce drunken driving.

Sgt. Chris Hamilton, of the TABC, said some inebriated bar patrons "end up killing themselves or someone else" after departing the businesses.


They weren't being arrested for possibly drunk driving, they were arrested for public intoxication.


No suprise to me, I was throw in jail for public intoxication 5 years ago. I thought the bar was for drinking and such, guess not that day.

Yep, I was getting loud and a bit unruley, but they could have asked me to leave. They didnt. A nearby cop came up, asked how much I had to drink. I prompty told him Im old enough to drink as much as I want. He wasn't amused. I don't remember what I blew, but I was legally drunk and I was arrested. Now remember, I didnt hurt anyone, didnt drive anywhere, didnt plan on driving anywhere.


Obviously, but the whole intent of the sweep was to preclude drunk driving, I'm just saying that this is a terrible precident to set, not to mention poorly thought out. I don't know, they could have done something that would have more logically led to the end they were seeking (less drunk drivers) - I don't know, like aresting the drunks if they headed to a car in the parking lot and were unaccompanied by a designated driver.

Additionall, people were arested for public intoxication without respect to weather or not they were registered guests at the hotel where one of the bars in question was. I fail to see how this served the purpose of limiting the number of drunk drivers as such patrons only had to go up the elevator to their rooms at the close of the night.

On another note - It's a prety stupid shit law that allows people to be arrested for public intoxication in a bar.


But they were in a bar! Isn't this like arresting people in the gym locker room for public nudity?


Officer: Tryin to get drunk tonight?

Drunk: I'm gettin there

Officer: you're under arrest

Drunk: what the fuck for?

Officer: you might be drunk driving later on [has Drunk do a field sobriety test and breathalizer].

Drunk: Holy shit, we got our DD right there.

Officer With Night Stick Up His Ass: You're publicly intoxicated, we're taking you downtown.

Drunk: You're just pissed that you have a pathetic 70's porn/cop stache.

Officer: Book'em Dan-o

What have we learned here? we've learned that you can now get arrested for drunk driving if you're nowhere close to your car and have no intentions of driving. great.

This is basically saying "person drinks... they drive too"

which is total hogwash, it's like saying "person buys gun, he's a killer"

or better yet "guy looks at porn, he's a rapist"

It's a convoluted and fucked up generalization of one thing leads to another. Then again, some people deserve to be arrested when they drink too much.


TABC has a reputation for being one step below the Gestapo. I bartended in College Station for a year and those guys are hateful to everyone.


I was slapped around on two different occasions by TABC guys at a little dive bar in San Antonio (in my dumber days). They do come in like jack-booted thugs sometimes, yelling, turning on lights, pushing people around.


Well, if anyone wanted to know why police are not respected by all....


A bar is not public space. A bar is private property. Hence, not public intoxication.

Next they'll be arresting us in our own homes, as that's also private property.

This is bullshit.


I now live in Canada, and I can say for a fact that this would NEVER happen up here; the people wouldn't stand for it.

Been to the Fort Hood area and Dallas, the cops there a pretty much out of control.


Actually, its a public establishment unless it is expressly established as a private club with membership fees, charter, etc.

I still disagree with this type of operation. It was clearly not set up to stop drunk driving, because they were arresting people without regard to whether or not they had a car at the bar. What if you walked from nearby and your plan was to get a good buzz going, hang out for a while and sober up some and go home but they busted you before your whole plan could work out. As far as I'm concerned, being drunk in public shouldn't be an offense by itself, only when disorderly conduct is involved. But nobody asked me.



Reminds of that joke about the cop who looking to meet his quota for DUI arrests at the end of the month sits in his car outside a local pub around closing time. As the drinkers filter out he spots a choice target stumbling around, car keys in hand trying to remember where the fuck he's parked. Eventually the drunk spots his motor, stumbles towards it falls over gets up falls over again and eventually makes it to his car, hops in forgets to put it in reverse, crashes into the ditch, throws it into reverse and slowly starts backing out. At this point the copper pounces, "Alright mate, you're nicked" and proceeds to breathalyse him, the test comes up clean. The cop runs it again thinking it's a bad result, clean. Four results later it's still not giving him the result he wants, "I j-j-just don't understand!" he exclaims.
"It's quite simple," says the drunk with a glint in his eye "I'm the designated decoy"


It is permissible by state law in Texas, I have not heard of it happening anywhere else in the States though.