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Soon to be banned
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According to the Houston Cronicle, 1,740 people across the state had been arrested for public intoxication in Operation Last Call.

It's clear this wasn't a small operation. It's also clear that this sting operation was over the top and clearly violated rights of the individual. (It's also clear Texans are obnoxious drunks too. :D )

I love the Minority Reportesque justification of the last line "She said most of the those were arrested in the sting operations had been dangerously drunk and might have tried to drive if TABC had not busted them." You can't simply assume that because someone is drunk in a bar (which is considered private property in most states) means they will get behind the wheel of their car. I'm certain they didn't just halt this program because of popular opinion. I'll bet the prosecutors started losing their cases.

Here's a suggestion. Why not continue the patrol of the bars, and when they identify someone they believe to be "dangerously drunk," force the bar to cut them off and call a cab. If the individual refuses then wait outside and arrest them once the public intoxication law is actually broken. Is that too difficult?

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A controversial Texas program to send undercover agents into bars to arrest drunks has been halted after a firestorm of protest from the public.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has "temporarily suspended" what it called "Operation Last Call" even though it still believes it was worthwhile, commission spokeswoman Carolyn Beck said on Thursday.

"We understand that everything has room for improvement, this included," she said.

She said most of those arrested in the sting operations had been "dangerously drunk" and might have tried to drive if TABC agents had not busted them.

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What I don't miss about America: the god given right to drink and drive. I cannot comprehend the drinking and driving culture in the US- oddly, when I was living in MN, the treatment capitol of the world, we were probably the last state to lower the limit to .08. There was all sorts of controversy. What blew my mind was despite all of that, the real issue seemed to be people driving at two to three times the legal limit or people that were on there fourth or higher offense. Why these officers are not regarded as heros performing an important public service is beyond me. Then again, it is Texas.
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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filtersweep said:
What I don't miss about America: the god given right to drink and drive. I cannot comprehend the drinking and driving culture in the US- oddly, when I was living in MN, the treatment capitol of the world, we were probably the last state to lower the limit to .08. There was all sorts of controversy. What blew my mind was despite all of that, the real issue seemed to be people driving at two to three times the legal limit or people that were on there fourth or higher offense. Why these officers are not regarded as heros performing an important public service is beyond me. Then again, it is Texas.
The problem was that they weren't being arrested for a crime they committed, they were being arrested premptively because they *may* have committed a crime.

If the goal was to prevent DUI then they should test every *driver* leaving the establishment(s) they stake out each night. THAT would be effective AND it would be legal.
 

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here comes trouble
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filtersweep said:
What I don't miss about America: the god given right to drink and drive. I cannot comprehend the drinking and driving culture in the US- oddly, when I was living in MN, the treatment capitol of the world, we were probably the last state to lower the limit to .08. There was all sorts of controversy. What blew my mind was despite all of that, the real issue seemed to be people driving at two to three times the legal limit or people that were on there fourth or higher offense. Why these officers are not regarded as heros performing an important public service is beyond me. Then again, it is Texas.
Speaking from first hand experience, they were harassing people. That's not being a hero.

You never need two departments to police the same crime.
 

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paint said:
You never need two departments to police the same crime.
i strongly agree piant.......

+1
 

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Misfit Toy
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filtersweep, I don't think any of us have a problem with arresting drunk drivers; it's going into bars and arresting them, while they are still in the bar. They would have no way of knowing if that person was going to walk out, get in a car and drive, call a cab, or take public transit.

filtersweep said:
What I don't miss about America: the god given right to drink and drive. I cannot comprehend the drinking and driving culture in the US- oddly, when I was living in MN, the treatment capitol of the world, we were probably the last state to lower the limit to .08. There was all sorts of controversy. What blew my mind was despite all of that, the real issue seemed to be people driving at two to three times the legal limit or people that were on there fourth or higher offense. Why these officers are not regarded as heros performing an important public service is beyond me. Then again, it is Texas.
 

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here comes trouble
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The argument that TABC made was that bars could be considered public places, so you're allowed to arrest anyone drunk in a bar... or out on the sidewalk... etc etc.

I knew as soon as these raids started hitting the hoity toity parts of the bigger cities that they wouldn't last long. They started in college areas. Of course, it's easy to pick on college students 'cause most of them aren't residents of the town they live in while at school.
 

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The real reason it stopped was the threat of canceling conventions.. Convention planners were calling and threatening to cancel..

Our local news ran a video of a couple arrested for drinking in a hotel bar. These people were staying upstairs at the hotel and the idiots at TABC came in a arrested them.
 

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Misfit Toy
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Dave Hickey said:
Our local news ran a video of a couple arrested for drinking in a hotel bar. These people were staying upstairs at the hotel and the idiots at TABC came in a arrested them.
**Brilliant!**​

Surprised something like this hasn't gone on in San Jose......:rolleyes:
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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filtersweep said:
What I don't miss about America: the god given right to drink and drive. I cannot comprehend the drinking and driving culture in the US- oddly, when I was living in MN, the treatment capitol of the world, we were probably the last state to lower the limit to .08. There was all sorts of controversy. What blew my mind was despite all of that, the real issue seemed to be people driving at two to three times the legal limit or people that were on there fourth or higher offense. Why these officers are not regarded as heros performing an important public service is beyond me. Then again, it is Texas.
I don't get this rant. It's hard to live in the US and see anyone proclaiming a god-given right to drink and drive. Ever since I was a teen ager I have had a steady diet of "don't drink and drive" hammered into me and it's taken. I don't know anyone who thinks it's acceptable to get behind the wheel while even slightly intoxicated.

You complain about controversy over 0.08 blood alcohol and somehow connect it to questions of people driving with 0.20-0.30 BAC. These are two different questions. The whole deal with people opposing the 0.08 level is that there is about zero scientific evidence that 0.08 BAC causes any more impairment than driving at night versus during daylight. BAC above 0.10 is demonstrably a problem, but if you're already failing to bust people with BAC of 0.30, how would reducing the limit from 0.10 to 0.08 change that?

I say this as someone who hardly ever drinks, even when he's not driving. I have no axe to grind on the 0.08 vs. 0.10 limit except to the extent that it diverts law enforcement effort away from the real drunks and people who drive while talking on cell phones.

SImilarly, the problem in Texas is that they were arresting people who were nowhere near a car and assuming that later in the evening, they would drive while intoxicated. This is a difficult assertion to prove. It also potentially diverts law enforcement resources from real drunk drivers. Wouldn't they have done better to wait for the drunks to get into their cars and arrest them then?
 

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KenB said:
The problem was that they weren't being arrested for a crime they committed, they were being arrested premptively because they *may* have committed a crime.

If the goal was to prevent DUI then they should test every *driver* leaving the establishment(s) they stake out each night. THAT would be effective AND it would be legal.
the Bar owner might be able to sue and say that the cops were using selective enforcement and thus discriminating against his business.
 
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