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TABC Crackdown on Drinking in Texas Bars


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Admin: Cross-posted threads consolidated here.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commision has randomly begun raiding bars in the Dallas area, and arresting bar patrons, servers, bartenders, bar owners, and bar managers for overserving their customers.

Here's the story:

Drinking in Texas Bars

Public intoxication in Texas .08, or roughly two drinks for the average person.

Texas Public Intoxication Laws (.08)

This is bad news for anyone who owns a bar or restaurant in Texas that serves alcohol.

First, bartenders and servers are trained to identify obvious causes of drunkeness, but they don't carry breathalizers to find out accurately how drunk their patrons really are.

Second, if bar patrons, servers, bartenders, bar owners and bar managers can be arrested on the spot for overserving, who in the hell would want to work or own a bar, and who in the hell would ever want to go out to party?

Lastly, it doesn't matter if you have a designated driver, either. If you are .08 or better, and have a designated driver, you're still going to get arrested.

This is law in Texas. If you don't like the law, you throw out the damn bums who put such rules into place!

Two things are going to happen if this is allowed to continue:

1. Bars will go out of business because nobody will want to go out.

2. Nobody will want to work in the business because the threat of getting arrested could happen at any time.

This is a terrible, terrible policy in Texas, and it's a law that should get changed!

Eric

RestaurantEdge.com

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Although I hate US liquor laws and find Texas' laws especially aggravating, I don't think the situation as described in the article is as dire as you make it out to be. To me, it sounds like a bunch of cops are going to bars and just busting some very drunk individuals.

Bar patrons may be approached if an officer spots them behaving erratically, such as having difficulty walking or standing. The officer will perform a field sobriety test similar to one for drunken drivers. A patron may also be asked to take a breath test, although it is not required, Beck said.

Most people who take the breath test have a blood alcohol level of .17 or higher, she said. "These people who are being arrested are really drunk," she said. "We're not going up to random people."

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Kent,

I wouldn't bring the 'roosters home to rest' on the fact that the story suggests people are "really" drunk. They interviewed some of the people who got arrested this morning, and most of them had designated drivers.

This is why this is a big concern!

Eric

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Although I hate US liquor laws and find Texas' laws especially aggravating, I don't think the situation as described in the article is as dire as you make it out to be. To me, it sounds like a bunch of cops are going to bars and just busting some very drunk individuals.

I disagree. From the article:

So far, it has resulted in about 2,200 arrests or citations around the state.

That's a good number of arrests/citations.

NBC's Today show covered this subject this morning. They said DUI arrests in Texas are on par with those of California, which has 20 million more people living there than in Texas. So there is obviously a problem.

In the story it showed the police entering a hotel bar and arresting three people AND the bartender. One of the arrested patrons was an out-of-state visitor who said she was going to go from the bar straight up to her room. The police arrested her anyways.

This is going to kill the bar business in Texas and may impact tourism, as well.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Geeze.. So first they came for the smokers, then the came for the drinkers, what else fun can you do in Austin... Where are the dancing police? Plus all that fatty food in BBQ.. They might test your cholestrol level before you can eat some brisket!

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I'm always very leary of enforcement that has an arbitrary nature to it. So you can be hauled off for catching a legal, heavily taxed alcohol buzz even though you're not driving, fighting, or bothering anyone. Not good.

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I was out with some lawyers last night. Everyone was talking about this. I'm sure everyone in the nation is talking about this. As a New Orleanian, I'm just happy somebody else's government is currently the country's whipping boy.

The lawyers were all confused about how you could be publicly intoxicated in a privately owned space. I'm sure the TABC looked into this, but it seems a little fishy.

UPDATE: This article in the Dallas Morning News says that any place licensed to serve alcohol is public by definition:

DMN article

I guess that answers my question.

Contrary to the original post, it also says that officers on the scene use their own judgement to determine who is intoxicated. There isn't a blood alcohol level involved.

The TABC also claims to have the full support of the state legislature for this actions.

They may have had the full support last week. What do you bet that with the bad press some of those lawmakers have "reexamined" the issue? :laugh:

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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The DFW area UNICARDs . . . on and on.

A little off-topic, but what is that all about? I remember signing a membership to get a beer at a Dallas Korean sushi place. There was a language barrier, so I just signed on the line and took my bottle of bud. :biggrin:

What exactly was I signing?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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This will then be even more confusing after your post above. The Unicard in the DFW area is a way around being able to serve alcohol in "dry" counties or cities. Supposedly, it's a private "club" that you join that as a member, you get to be served alcohol since it was private. You're supposed to pay dues, but no one ever asks or enforces this part. I have like 3 of 'em. It was particularly common in Denton county and the I-35 corridor: Carrollton, Lewisville, etc.

It's hopelessly complicated. I've read, time and again, articles about it in Dallas Observer or other papers and it still doesn't make any sense. Then you throw in what each city defines as "dry": no hard liquor? (Plano) no alcohol of any kind? (Denton?) Restaurants can serve anything they want but you can't buy a damned beer at a grocery store? (Lewisville)

Last spring in Plano there was a vote on repealing the whole Unicard thing and making the city "wet". My wife and I went out and voted specifically because of this measure and the way it was worded was I'd say deliberately confusing, like a triple negative ("You are in suppport of not supporting not being able to not consume alcohol in places described in bill 145AJ. . . :wacko: ). I asked the people running the voting station for clarification and they were only to happy not to help me. The guy next to me came in and was voting for the same thing and got pretty irate when they wouldn't clarify it for him, either.

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This will then be even more confusing after your post above.

That's really complicated.

We had a vaguely similar system when I was growing up in Oklahoma. You not only had to be a member of a bar, but you had to provide your own bottle. There would be tons of labeled bottles in every bar. The bartender got paid for mixing.

Bars were getting busted all the time for the serving "liquor by the drink." (Oh, the horror!!!)

Oklahomans voted to end that system years ago. I guess northern states really are more progressive. :laugh:

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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