Texas Backs Off Preemptive DUI Arrests

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on April 17th, 2006

I commented earlier about Texas' new preemptive approach to DUI: Arrest them in the bars before they can commit the crime. Besides the obvious objection to arresting people for being potential drunk drivers, the arrests included those who were walking home, had designated drivers, would have called cabs, were staying at the bar's hotel, etc.

Although fairly typical of what we are used to seeing in MADD's War on Drunk Driving, this prophylactic approach to DUI law enforcement has drawn complaints from more rational Texans — not to mention ridicule from around the world, as the following news story from Scotland indicates:


Texas Halts Programme to Arrest Drunks in Bars

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – A controversial Texas programme to send undercover agents into bars to arrest drunks has been halted after a firestorm of protest from the public.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has "temporarily suspended" what it called "Operation Last Call" even though it still believes it was worthwhile, commission spokeswoman Carolyn Beck said on Thursday….

Recent media reports that drunks were being arrested in bars provoked both ridicule and anger around the world and, perhaps more importantly, complaints from hotels, restaurants and bars in Texas who said it could hurt business. The programme drew support from groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


(Thanks to Jeanne M. Prutt of Responsibility in DUI Laws.)

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