Arresting People For Drunkenness At Bars?

Who came up with this blockheaded idea?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sent a message to bar patrons last week.

TABC agents and Irving police swept through 36 Irving bars and arrested about 30 people on charges of public intoxication. Agency representatives say the move came as a proactive measure to curtail drunken driving.

North Texans interviewed by NBC 5, however, worried that the sweep went too far.

At one location, for example, agents and police arrested patrons of a hotel bar. Some of the suspects said they were registered at the hotel and had no intention of driving. Arresting authorities said the patrons were a danger to themselves and others.

“Going to a bar is not an opportunity to go get drunk,” TABC Capt. David Alexander said. “It’s to have a good time but not to get drunk.”

If you’re in a bar, of course it’s a good time to get drunk. That’s part of the reason why you go to the bar in the first place, to get sloshed. But, if the police are so concerned about drunken driving that they feel compelled to actually arrest people for drunkenness in a bar, then it seems to me that what they really want is a dry county. Such places do exist, you know. If that’s the direction they want to go, they should ask the local government to step up to the plate on that issue. If not, they should bust people who drink and drive, not folks who’re simply getting hammered with a few friends at a bar.

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