TABC Board: Stupid Is as Stupid Does

The other day, Michelle Shinghal broke a news story from her neck of the woods which provides that law enforcement officials are going inside bars to arrest people for public intoxication in the Dallas area. Now it seems pretty clear this is a statewide campaign in Texas.

First of all, the Texas bureaucrats with badges admit to it:

Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.

The first sting operation was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people for public intoxication, said the commission’s Carolyn Beck.

Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkeness, Beck said.

Then they defend their actions:

“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.”

She said the sting operations would continue throughout the state.

According to one report, TABC is not concerned with individual rights:

TABC officials said the sweep concerned saving lives, not individual rights. Harvey and others interviewed by NBC 5 said they believe drunken driving to be unacceptable, although Harvey wanted to confirm that the United States remains a free country.

If one decides to take a cab, hire a limo, or have a designated driver they still have no rights under this new practice. The proprieter of the establishment loses his rights, too. That’s stupid. If they’re concerned about people jumping off their balconies into their pools, it seems that one’s own house may soon be defined as public property. That’s really stupid.

We’ve all done stupid things when drinking, as the former governor of the state, his twin daughters and even other family members can surely attest. My trangressions range from slurring my speech to flirting with women with jealous husbands to telling really lame jokes. I’m sure most will agree that arresting someone for drinking inside a bar is about the most stupid thing man can imagine.

I wonder if the TABC be setting up a large barbed-wire concentration camp styled facility to handle all the business immediately following the first home football game in Austin.

One thing we can do is keep the TABC buffoons too damned busy to engage in these ludicrous raids. You can e-mail their complaint line, call their complaint line at 888-843-8222, or call the TABC executive department at 512-206-3221.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Does this differ in principle from arresting someone at a shooting range for public discharge of a firearm? I suppose one would be guilty of public urination for using the bar’s restroom, too. The whole concept is endless in it’s application.

    I’d love to see some bar owner sue the hell out of the state and sue John Steen and company personally, as well.

    This sort of power-lust calls for good, old fashioned tar and feathering.

  2. This is probably one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of government officials doing.

  3. Does this differ in principle from arresting someone at a shooting range for public discharge of a firearm?

    Great analogy. And I also hope some bar owner, or patron for that matter, sue the department. Where is the ACLU in this matter?

    Anyone in the area willing to be the guinea pig? Go around to different bars, and drink until you’re eventually arrested, and sue?

  4. Wow. Dallas is the home of the highest crime rate in America… people stealing, killing and raping. And what are they authorities doing? Why they’re busy arresting people out having a good time – trying to forgot about all the bad news out there.

    I guess the next thing is arresting people in their homes for watching porn … that’s got to be 3 months in prison right there…

  5. I was planning on taking my field trip in Savannah when a certain new restaurant opens.

  6. Well, yes, there is that. But only because alcohol is technically a food. We’re gonna be all booze, baby!
    That’s still going to be a while yet. We’re still remodeling in anticipation of selling our house.

  7. If they’re concerned about people jumping off their balconies into their pools, it seems that one’s own house may soon be defined as public property

    Already is. After all the Houston police chief wants to put cameras in everyone’s homes.

    What you do at home could be endangering your wife and kids, or roommates, or whatever. Failing that, you might set your house on fire, and it could spread. You might get drunk at home and wonder out into traffic. The possibilities are endless.

  8. My father had a good question at dinner: Can they force someone to submit to a breathalizer at a bar?

    My wife piped in that we need t-shirts which read “Just say no, don’t blow”.

    I think I topped her suggestion with “Hell no, we won’t blow”.

  9. Breathalyzers would not be needed, because the definition of public intoxication doesn’t include blood level specs. It’s just whether you appear to be drunk in the eyes of the arresting officer. Totally subjective and totally at the discretion of the cop.

    And we all know how impartial and expert and totally objective police can be….

  10. Fuck the police. Those assholes are always getting drunk in bars. Maybe a “citizen patrol” should go arrest THEM.

  11. Officer, I can’t blow. Here is my marriage license. Married women do not blow. Ask almost any married man- he will tell you and HIS truth will set me free. Just don’t ask MY husband.

  12. You know as political protests go, a “drink-in” would be a lot more fun than a sit in, even if it did mean drinking Shiner Bock and Lone Star.

  13. I’m not normally a violent person, but I’m feeling strong urge to smack some sense into those idiot texas cops. It’s a good think I don’t live down there anymore, ’cause I have a feeling I’d snap if a cop tried to arrest me for PI in a bar.

  14. As a bar owner, I can say it is completely ridiculous. Yes, TABC can come into my establishment, hand-pick any patron/employee and give them a ‘field sobriety’ test right there on the spot. In turn, they will make a call to the DA, yes, at that very moment, and if the DA wants to press charges they take you to jail. No questions asked, and there is nothing you can do about it. The best part? My bartender was arrested and taken to jail at 2:20 a.m. Yes, after the bar was closed. He was having a beer while counting his tips. The reason? Consuming and serving. Even though no patrons were in the bar.

    This new law isn’t only directed to public facilities… if you’re in your own HOME and are in view of the public (have your curtains open), and you’re intoxicated, you can be arrested for public intoxication. Yes, that analogy is extreme and the chances of that happening is rare. But it is legal.

    All this is due to TABC’s recent Sunset Review.

    My vent is over… Bottoms up!

  15. Think thats stoopid? Hutto Texas just passed a ordinance prohibiting ANY discharg of ANY kind of gun in the town, That means if you get your son a BB gun , and set up a bale of hay in the backyard , and he shoots it into a target , you Both can go to jail. Thats right Ralphie , you might shoot your eye out.
    As for the TABC`s Nazi state of mind…Lets all go to the Bar`s tonite , order 1 drink , never drink it and act as silly as possible until you get arrestred for PI. Then sue the pants off of them for false arrest.

  16. Tabc can go kiss it. I was a “VICTIM” of there Bullsh*t on of all days…Superbowl Sunday..yes i’m a huge Steeler fan..wearing my #36 BUS JERSEY..they had there Snitch in our pub at noon, i get there at 3 or so after golf, pumped up and ready to go. There was also a guy sitting beside me in Steeler attire really, really drunk. There SNITCH points out “THE GUY IN THE STEELER SHIRT”… You got it..they got me… Guess they were Cowboy Fans…I am fighting it and it will be dismissed.
    Please log on to Fox news and summit a comment to them…we don’t want this to go away.. Down with the NAZIS

  17. KdF: Unfortunately there is no requirement to actually be intoxicated on a foreign substance for a Public Intoxication charge to stand up in court.

    You need only “appear” or “act” in a drunken manner to be arrested and convicted.

    It’s a nuisance law, you see.

  18. I unfortunately live in Irving, Texas where this all happened. Yes, the IRVING POLICE ARE OUT OF CONTROL. I was assaulted by one two years ago in front of a Home Depot at 4:00pm on a Thursday and to cover it up he charged me with Public intox and I was taken to jail. They don’t have to test you at all for this and it is your word against their’s. You can request a Blood Alcohol Test (BAT) but they don’t have to give it to you to prove your innocence. About a month ago, I was at a bar here, I was grieving a friend who had recently passed away, and before I even got into the bar the Irving Police were trying to charge me with Public Intox. Like I said they are out of control. I am now in the process of selling my house and moving out of Irving. I will never call the Irving Police again (I made the mistake of calling them when this last incident happened only to find out the person I was calling about was an off duty police officer). The Irving Police are not your friends period!

  19. TABC needs to be shut down, period. People forget alcohol is legal and generates large amounts of cash for Texas – I am OFFENDED as a consumer that you treat people like this. TABC and ALL police are NOT your friends – they will arrest you in a heartbeat for doing nothing illegal – Yes Nazi Germany is not that far fetched very soon.

    Solution – Shut down TABC, huge waste of tax payers money.

  20. Hey everyone, the TABC toll free snitch line at 888-843-8222 works from outside TX and apparently is staffed 24 hrs a day. So good libertarian minded, freedom loving people can call from all over the US 24 hours a day and voice their outrage! Spread this info far and wide and let freedom loving people give these bastards a lesson in freedom!

    I just called the TABC snitch line and some flunky answered. I told him he was an accessory to police state tyranny and he said he didn’t work for the TABC but was a “college student” who answered an annoymous TABC hotline. Then he swore at me and hung up on me. Typical “public servant.”

  21. Lets not forget TABC TAXES us around 14-26% for consumed alcohol yet this is how they treat their revenue source? Also if a facility serves spirits I believe the 14-16% extends to ALL sales as well!!! wow!!!

    Lets NOT forget the local police who are SCARED of the TABC and conduct these ILLEGAL raids which are a civil liberties violation. But in Republican Texas civil liberties are not a priority, only the rights of the corporate and religious right.

    Write governor Rick Perry if you have time to waste – I know he is useless but ulimately that is who TABC reports to – sort of…

    This is an outrage and is CONTINUING DAILY!!! I for one will NOT order ANY alcohol until this Nazi practice stops

  22. I was caught in one of these so caled TABC sting operations. The funny thing about it is, I was in th bathroom with a couple of my girlfriends just chatting when 2 TABC officers walked in on us. They didn’t charge me with public intox they are chargin me with lewd/immoral conduct because my pants were undon in the bathroom. So now it is illegal to be in the bathroom with your pants undone. They are completely wasting our money with all this crap. Lawmakers need to go after the real criminals.