Texas Arresting People for Being Drunk in Bars
Texas is conducting statewide sting operations to find drunk people in bars and arrest them.
Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkenness, [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokeswoman Carolyn] Beck said. The goal, she said, was to detain drunks before they leave a bar and go do something dangerous like drive a car. “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,” she 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,” Beck said. “People walk out into traffic and get run over, people jump off of balconies trying to reach a swimming pool and miss.”
Apparently, then, the members of the Texas ABC are drunk because it is hard to imagine anything more stupid than this. Indeed, the absurdity of this program is maddening.
For one thing, if being within the confines of an establishment dedicated to drinking is not sanctuary, one might as well just get a six pack or a bottle and sit outside. Or, hell, drive around town since at least the police wouldn’t know where to look. Further, while people might indeed do stupid things while intoxicated, any given arrestee may well have had provisions in place to prevent such conduct.
Update: Pieter Dorsman sees this as a dangerous extension of the doctrine of preemption.