Drinking in Texas Bars

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emhahn
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2006/03/24 11:14:55 (permalink)

Drinking in Texas Bars

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:
http://www.restaurantedge.com/index.phtml?news=1&newsid=1394

Public intoxication in Texas .08, or roughly two drinks for the average person. Link:
http://studentlife.tamu.edu/scrs/sls/FAQpi.htm

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
http://www.RestaurantEdge.com
#1

72 Replies Related Threads

    Cornbread
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 11:21:39 (permalink)
    We had a local pub that closed down recently because police would camp out right across the street and nab patrons as they walked out and field test them on the spot. It's a shame that this practice put a decent place out of business.

    It is a catch 22 though..keep drunk divers off the road or enjoy a drink without the fear that the person next to you is keeping tabs on how much you had to drink.

    my .02
    #2
    NebGuy
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 11:38:05 (permalink)
    Amazing. I'm all for keeping drunk drivers off the road. But getting busted inside the bar is almost too much big brother for me.

    #3
    emhahn
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 11:47:13 (permalink)
    This is nothing but "Big Brother" wanting to know who's doing what and where.....

    States that have huge budget crisis' (which is most of them), may want to excercise this option to raise money, which is why bar owners in Texas assume this is now happening.

    Further, many of the people who got arrested had designated drivers to take them home!

    It's a terrible policy!

    Eric
    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 11:58:07 (permalink)
    I enjoy a good drink but I like to do it in the hotel where I will not be leaving or in my home. Since it is spring, my boat dock becomes one of my favorite places to enjoy a evening libation when I consume.

    I have always had a fear of being caught while testing postive for alcohol.

    Bars are a fertile place for policemen who want to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Texas may have started a national trend.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 12:02:09 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    I've seen police visit and walk around the bar/restaurant before, but never arrest anyone in the establishment.
    I have seen them arrest people who were walking away from the bar, people who were walking home and didn't even
    have a car. It does have a chilling effect for those who know about it, but most people didn't know it was going
    on. Police will often do this where they believe drugs or other things are going on that they want to stop. It
    will not happen at establishments where the rich or politically powerful frequent. At least that is how it happened
    in my area. We once had 8 to 10 bars in our downtown area. The police and city fathers clamped down. We now have
    4 bars downtown, whose prices and atmosphere is pretty much richer college kids, yuppies, or older cliente. The local
    white and afro-american, and latin american lower econo-end people have no place downtown to drink. Latin Americans have
    a few club-bars near their barrios.
    But why be surprised about the police doing this? Social engineering is the newest high. I know as a smoker, but please,
    let's don't go there. I've heard how bad I am as far as that by social engineers.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 12:15:37 (permalink)
    At least you get to buy liquor in bars in Texas now. When I lived in Texas if you wanted to drink in a bar you had to bring our own booze and buy setups. Of course, you could always belong to a bottle club where you could keep your liquor in a locker and have it handy whenever you walked in. I even remember a law requiring that your bottle always had to be on its side on the bar. That was because it was believed a person could grab a standing bottle more easily than one that was on its side, thus making it handier for hitting someone.
    #7
    Jimeats
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 12:24:04 (permalink)
    What is this going to do to the convention business? My guess cooler heads are going to prevail. Once it hits them in the pocket book things will simmer down. Chow Jim
    #8
    dinerminer
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 13:03:31 (permalink)
    This is a troubling development, the latest offensive on limiting personal liberties for the "public safety". With all the momentum the anti-smoking Nazis have now, I had thought it would only be a matter of time before the prohibitionists reared their heads again. The fact is that many states have similar laws on their books (prohibiting service/sales to intoxicated individuals), mine does, although to my knowledge they have never been enforced. I expect some bureaucrat in the TABC is pursuing a personal/political agenda, as it is doubtful that lawmakers would support this type of harassment. Jeez, if you can't smoke or drink in a bar anymore, I'm not sure that's the type of freedom our brave soldiers are fighting for.
    #9
    jellybear
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 13:41:05 (permalink)
    Its not only the bars but Hotels as well.It was on the Today Show this morning.I guess you cant take the elavator to your room without getting busted.
    #10
    UncleVic
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 14:35:12 (permalink)
    Eric hit it right on the nose.. MONEY.

    #11
    mayor al
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 14:56:27 (permalink)

    This really is not a good policy. Busting Patrons in the Parking lot of a Bar for being over the limit is a common practice in some of our local communities, but that's "in the car" and the car has been moved, before the arrest.

    Now I understand why BUSHIE took advantage of Tennessee's more generous laws to knock down TWO of the45 oz Margaritas in Nashville last Winter.
    #12
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 15:05:14 (permalink)
    You all did read in the article that they said that the average "blow" was .17 -- that is over twice the legal limit for public intoxication -- not just drinking and driving. The law is on the books - if you don't like it, change the laws.

    It is amazing to me just how many people cannot go out and have "just a few drinks" without getting absolutely schnockered. In the circle of people with whom I travel, it is nothing for them (and I refer to folks who are about 22-26 y/o) to knock out half a dozen shots in a half hour. I am all for having a good time -- and I like to get my drink on when and where appropriate -- but, this is an increasing problem (public intoxication) and does lead to problems both in cars and in the streets. This is especially true where more and more cities have "entertainment districts" -- rows of bars and people binge drinking all night. If you look at the crime blotters of these cities, you will find that most of the crime that does occur, will often happen at/near these types of places.

    It's amazing to me that something like the Patriot Act doesn't get people the least bit tweaked about the loss of civil liberties, but god forbid someone wants to lessen the likelihood of someone heading out staggering drunk.
    #13
    plb
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 15:55:00 (permalink)
    Interesting. I read recently that the Dallas police (or maybe sheriff’s) department was ordered to stop all sobriety checks. It seems that when they stopped and tested all drivers the ethnic breakdown of those charged did not exactly track that of the population at large.
    #14
    Bushie
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 16:09:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    Now I understand why BUSHIE took advantage of Tennessee's more generous laws to knock down TWO of the 45 oz Margaritas in Nashville last Winter.

    They'll never take me alive...
    #15
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 16:19:06 (permalink)
    I cannot believe Bushie had 90 ounces of Margaritas[|)]" />

    The way I figure it, that is about 5.6 pounds of fluids. I do not see how he had any room available for the super Mexican dinner that he shared with Poverty and the Mayor's party.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #16
    Bushie
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 16:24:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I do not see how he had any room available for the super Mexican dinner that he shared with Poverty and the Mayor's party.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    What dinner
    #17
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 16:45:41 (permalink)
    Lessee, is Ann Richards still da Gov o' Texas?

    #18
    Jimeats
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 17:22:37 (permalink)
    No George jr. did her in, to bad I kind of liked her. Also i just heard she was diagnosed with cancer, to bad I wish her well. Chow Jim
    #19
    emhahn
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 19:34:37 (permalink)
    You guys are all a wonderful bunch, I wish I had more time to sit here and go through more of what goes on here at Roadfood.com!

    For those of you who smell politics in all of this, I think you're right. It's the political environment in Texas that grants law enforcement the power to do this.

    Basically, the state of Texas is "pre-emptively" striking bar patrons and the establishments that serve, before any crime occurs. But apparently, the state of Texas has decided that they can "pre-emptively" strike bar patrons, because they got alcohol in their body. What next? "You drink alcohol, therefore you must be a terrorist?"

    I drink beer and wine. I'll have one or two when I go out. But I won't when I'm in Texas! I'll go down there on vacation and leave on probation!

    Hopefully, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will hear the roars from ordinary people, and rescind their actions. If they don't, other states may follow, and then we'll be back in the days of prohibition after that!

    Eric
    www.RestaurantEdge.com


    #20
    Jeza
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 19:42:28 (permalink)
    In NZ we have real problems with drink driving. But if you are caught drink driving you not only can go to jail but also loose your car on the spot. The year this law was introduced drink driving the fatalities and drink driving incidence dropped by a staggering %40.

    NZer's tend to drink more than most people on earth (Only the Germans beat us and the Aussies are a close third) so drink driving has been a real problem here.

    Thankfully the government targets "problem" business's/pubs/bars as opposed to a general wholesale attack on all such establishments.

    When I was recently in Montreal, I went to a cafe and ordered a glass of wine before my lunch and one with. Because I was on holiday and only had to walk back to my hotel, once lunch was finished I felt like a glass of dessert wine. Being mid August it was pretty hot and i wanted something refreshing.

    I was refused because they were sure I was intoxicated. I laughed and ordered a fruit juice instead, but it was humerous because I wasn't even tipsy what with the food and two hours I had consumed the wine over. The glass's were little in size to.

    The real problem is gauging peoples ability to handle alcohol. A 45 kilo woman isn't going to handle one glass of wine well, a big 90 kilo bloke can probably handle 3 or 4 beers before they are over the legal limit. Once you throw in all the other variables (food, natural alcohol tolerance etc..) its going to be pretty hard to gauge whether a perosn is intoxicated or just a little merry so to speak.
    #21
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 20:52:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I do not see how he had any room available for the super Mexican dinner that he shared with Poverty and the Mayor's party.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    What dinner


    'Yall quit trashin' my mentor. 'Ya hear????

    #22
    roossy90
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 21:13:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by emhahn

    You guys are all a wonderful bunch, I wish I had more time to sit here and go through more of what goes on here at Roadfood.com!

    For those of you who smell politics in all of this, I think you're right. It's the political environment in Texas that grants law enforcement the power to do this.

    But I won't when I'm in Texas! I'll go down there on vacation and leave on probation!

    Hopefully, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will hear the roars from ordinary people, and rescind their actions. If they don't, other states may follow, and then we'll be back in the days of prohibition after that!

    Eric
    www.RestaurantEdge.com





    Ha ha..You made me think of something.....
    There is a bail bondsman in Key Largo, in the Florida Keys, that has matches in almost every bar and restaurant in the Upper Keys..
    Has his name and addie on the front and on the back is his slogan.
    "welcome to the Fla Keys, where you come on vacation, and leave on probation"..
    Tourists were very amused at first, and less amused when they saw it was true.
    He does a very good business.
    DUI is a total money making business for the Monroe County.
    They have an exceptionally large force there.
    And taxi's are VERY plentiful down there and reasonable also.

    #23
    improviser
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 21:40:29 (permalink)
    Yet another reason Kinky Friedman needs to be elected governor. He'll get this changed. If I lived in Texas, I'd vote for him.

    http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/
    #24
    emhahn
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/24 21:51:04 (permalink)
    Rossy,

    I think you're right! The political atmosphere in Texas needs a wake up call! "Go on vacation, leave on probation" is what many tourist areas in America have done, and continue to do..... Watch your rear end when you're out there!

    Improvisor,

    Kinky is cool, and a great musician at that, too! He stands a weak chance down there, but Texas needs him.....

    Maybe Texas should become their own country like they've always wished before.....

    Eric

    #25
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/25 00:42:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by emhahn

    Basically, the state of Texas is "pre-emptively" striking bar patrons and the establishments that serve, before any crime occurs. But apparently, the state of Texas has decided that they can "pre-emptively" strike bar patrons, because they got alcohol in their body. What next? "You drink alcohol, therefore you must be a terrorist?"


    Actually, they are not pre-emptively striking anything. The law that they are enforcing is public intoxication. If you are drunk, in public, and making a nuisance of yourself, then you should be sent to the pokey to cool off.

    I went out tonight to a bar where the cops were plentiful. I had three beers, over the course of time, but wasn't the least bit reckless, and walked back to my hotel about a half a mile. I saw other people being held in the back seat of police cars (twice), who did not appear to be detained for a driving offense. The place I was in also had someone busted for an illegal ID. The lesson to be learned here is not to be stupid when you are out in public.

    quote:
    Hopefully, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will hear the roars from ordinary people, and rescind their actions. If they don't, other states may follow, and then we'll be back in the days of prohibition after that!


    More likely, things will be enforced heavily for a short period of time for the ABC to get their message across, and then things will resume to a more normal way of living. Prohibition is still a ways away.

    Again, I say, if you want to get bent out of shape about something, try getting bent out of shape about something that matters.
    #26
    Kayleigh
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/25 00:56:36 (permalink)
    Steve, You keep making sense. The problem is no one wants to hear it until it's too late. Like millions of people I drove drunk without being arrested hundreds of times. The turning point was after lots of media coverage, deaths, and points like you make I went to return a movie before closing time a few blocks away. I pulled into a parking spot and ran into the cement base of a light pole. I knew I didn't do much damage to my car but I sat there for a few minutes and thought "how could I do that" I only had a few glasses of wine. Drink and Drive is something I have not done since and that was ten years ago.

    K
    #27
    Tedbear
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/25 07:48:32 (permalink)
    When I first read of this law enforcement development in Texas, my first thought was, "isn't this a very drastic change for that state?". I have been told in the past that drinking from a can of beer while driving is legal in Texas, as long as one is not intoxicated. Is/was this true? If it is/was legal for someone to consume alcohol while driving in Texas (surely a very strange thing to permit), then I have to assume that this practice is no longer legal in Texas if the police are now playing "Big Brother" inside saloons in that state.

    Would someone care to comment on whether or not it was ever legal to drink beer while driving in the state of Texas? The story that I had been told may have been a fable, and I would like to know the truth about that issue.
    #28
    NebGuy
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/25 11:26:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tedbear


    Would someone care to comment on whether or not it was ever legal to drink beer while driving in the state of Texas? The story that I had been told may have been a fable, and I would like to know the truth about that issue.

    My Mom lived in Austin in the late 70's and it was legal then. (At least that's what she told me) She isn't the type to be doing something like that if it's illegal. Once when I went down for a visit we went with some of her friends to the County Line BBQ which was a little road trip and included a cooler of beer for the drive. I'm sure it's no longer legal but someone from Texas would have to verify.

    Put a call out for Bushie. I'm sure he would know.
    #29
    dinerminer
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    RE: Drinking in Texas Bars 2006/03/25 13:05:16 (permalink)
    Steve, in your first post you claimed that, "In the circle of people with whom I travel, it is nothing for them (and I refer to folks who are about 22-26 y/o) to knock out half a dozen shots in a half hour.", and " I like to get my drink on when and where appropriate -- but, this is an increasing problem (public intoxication) and does lead to problems both in cars and in the streets." I've been operating bars and restaurants in a mid-sized college town for over twenty years and I couldn't disagree with you more on this subject. It has been my experience, as well as the experience of most of my peers in the business community that alcohol consumption has decreased dramatically over the past 15 years. Primarily, this has been due to very effective ad campaigns by a variety of organizations and stricter enforcement and penalties of alcohol related infractions. If you are considering your "circle of people" as representative of the public as a whole I think you are making a gross misjudgement. I have seen that patrons are much more responsible drinkers than back in the day. The awareness of what constitutes public intoxication, or blood alcohol level is very high and the vast majority of patrons (and service workers)are respectful of the limits. And as far as someone downing "half a dozen shots in a half hour", that is just plain extremism. Any competently run establishment would refuse to serve a patron that quantity of alcohol in such a short period. I'm sure it happens, but those are just the type of egregious cases that make dram shop suit headlines. The exception, not the rule.

    In your second post you state that, "I went out tonight to a bar where the cops were plentiful. I had three beers, over the course of time, but wasn't the least bit reckless, and walked back to my hotel about a half a mile." Well, technically it sounds as though you could have been cited for public intoxication. Let's just say that you are a normal sized person and drank those beers in a two-hour period, your BAC was possibly over .08. And let's just say that some police officer with a quota to meet decided (in arbitrary fashion) that you were a danger to yourself or others because you might trip over a curb on the way home. And all of a sudden BADDABOOM, you got yourself arrested. On top of that, your server or the owner of the bar you were in gets popped too!

    That sir, is not law enforcement, it is harassment. Harassment to the degree that not only will your personal record be marred, but depending on your occupation, it may affect your employment. Further, the server/bartender/owner now have legal/employment issues when in fact they could be totally innocent of any wrongdoing. For instance, prior to serving you that last beer, you may not have been legally intoxicated.

    Sure, there are drunks doing stupid things out there, no argument from me. There are also alot of sober people doing stupid things. I won't defend either of them. I will however defend business owners rights, reputations and the ability to operate our establishments within the letter of the law and free from government harassment.
    #30
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