Saturday, March 25, 2006

Texas Lawmakers Are Stupid

Naturally, a bar is a place where you might expect to see all kinds of behavior that is considered unacceptable elsewhere.

But Texas is now arresting people for being too drunk... inside a bar.

Time and time again I see laws that seem less designed for law and order, and more for some politician to use some pet project to get votes. A la "I led the fight to make bars safe for your children... vote for me." Rob Bell, of course, is a master at this.

The Texas law allows police to arrest bar patrons who appear to be, as the spokesperson for the Texas ABC put it, "really drunk" in a bar.

Why is this law bad? Well, it's unnecessary. If someone drinks and then drives, then there are DUI laws. If someone starts a bar fight, then there are assault laws for that.

But what makes this law even worse, is that it punishes even those who are acting responsibly. Had this law been on the books in Rhode Island, could I have been arrested for drinking at our on-campus bar, even though I did not have to drive or cross any major streets to get home? Should Texas bar patrons be punished for calling a cab or having a designated driver?

Drinking and driving is a major problem. Should we really punish people who are doing the responsible thing, or go after people who are reckless. In Rhode Island, it was common practice for police to spot check cars who were pulling out of bar parking lots. They only spoke to drivers, so if they found a drunk person, they found someone actually breaking the law. The Texas approach punishes good behavior and is, frankly, Orwellian.


Blogger Belinda said...

i agree that it is stupid but what can you do? what are children doing in a bar? if they implement this law it will encourage people to get drunk in other pulic places or at home where there is more likely to be children!

3/25/2006 1:00 AM  

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