And here I thought bars were the one place it was alright to be drunk in

Having laws against being drunk while driving is pretty common, happens in a lot of countries, and is something I see as perfectly fine and correct.

But in Texas they take further, too much further, I think. Now it seems they’re arresting people for being drunk while drinking inside bars.

It doesn’t matter if they don’t plan on getting out of the pub until much later when they’re sober. Or if they intend to go out and walk, not drive. Or if they really won’t do anything bad while drunk.

No, being drunk is the offence. Not doing anything problematical because of being drunk.

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

The goal, she said, was to detain drunks before they leave a bar and go do something dangerous like drive a car.

This is Marvellous. Most people who get drunk do not hurt each other. Someone getting overly drunk and hurting someone, while getting much more publicity than someone being drunk and going to sleep (not exactly a news event, is it?) is rare. And the most common way this does happen is by people driving drunk. Something which people are mostly aware of, and can choose not to do, even while intoxicated.

So if someone wants to go to a bar to drink, either to try and drown some big sorrow (doesn’t work, but people still try), celebrate something, or just have a fun evening which includes drinks, this is now dangerous to do in Texas. Anyone getting drunk, without doing anything wrong, without harming anyone, without even thinking about driving, can get arrested.

This is not going to be good for the bars, I bet. Most bar patrons don’t plan in advance to get totally drunk, just to have a drink or a few, but I guess most aren’t entirely and completely sure they won’t drink a little more than planned. And now it’s dangerous. They drink to much, they can get arrested for it. Getting into a bat to have a couple of drinks now carries risks. Bye bye bars, hello coffee shops and restaurants.

And I can’t help but wonder about the next step. They’re arresting drunk people because they may do things. Things which they’re not doing, didn’t do, and don’t plan on doing. But because they’re theoretically capable of them, they get arrested. How is arresting drunk people, because they may drive, different from arresting angry people because they may decide to hit someone? Or arresting people who carry firearms because they may decide to shoot someone?

If you want to go and arrest people before the do something dangerous, well, you might as well just hit the streets and arrest every single person you see. Some of them are going to do dangerous stuff. Why take the risk, when it’s obvious they’re capable of it?

Anyone not bed-ridden should be arrested, and the sooner the better. Everyone will be much safer that way.

I never gotten really drunk in my life, but right now I’m very happy that I don’t live anywhere near Texas…

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