Monday, April 17, 2006

The TABC’s undercover sting operation regarding public intoxication tickets is now suspended

Agents claimed they could spot drunk people in bars and restaurants just by looking at them.
They’ve made more than 2,000 arrests in the past six months.
For months, there has been criticism about TABC agents going into bars and restaurants and hauling people off to jail.
The agents claimed they could look at people and determine they were drunk and a danger to themselves or others.
Some say this is an abuse of power, and now two senators say this sting operation needs to be reviewed.
Senators John Whitmire and Kino Flores have called for a joint committee hearing to look at the program.
The committees will meet Monday.
One of the hardest hit clubs in Austin is the Dallas Night Club. They’ve seen their business drop-off by more than 80 percent.
Agents were coming into the club and taking customers out to the parking lot for sobriety tests and often times, taking them to jail.
On Wednesday night, management of the Dallas Night Club responded to suspension of the TABC operation.
“We’re ecstatic. We’ve been trying to do something about it for the past year. It’s killed our business. People are scared to come out. I don’t even drink, and I’m scared to go out. And it’s not right. We don’t want to put drunks on the road, but we don’t want people to be afraid to do something that’s legal. If they don’t want people drinking, they should outlaw alcohol,” Scott Bennett with the Dallas Night Club said.
The TABC’s undercover operation has resulted in more than 2,200 public intoxication arrests in the past six months. That’s more than double the amount from the same time last year.