East Texans React to Drunk Stings - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/26/06 - East Texas

East Texans React to Drunk Stings

by Larry Little

In the past the TABC left it up to the bartenders to cut off serving a customer who has had too much to drink. But last year the agency began sending undercover officers inside the bars to look for drunks and there are several things about a customer that tips them off like slurred speech, fumbling with money, trying to light a cigarette on both ends.

In late 2005, the agency began cracking down on folks who drink excessively, charging them for public intoxication, a fine that could cost you up to $500. The TABC says the program is to help reduce the number of drunk drivers on Texas roads. Folks in East Texas are reacting to the new controversial program. I think they should wait until they go outside and if they get in a vehicle,then I think they have the right to stop them,but going into bars, I don't think it's fair," says Ronnie Perry. "It sounds to me that is a violation of a person's rights. I mean where do we go from here and what can we do. If you can't go into a bar and have a drink without an officer coming in to find out if you are drunk where do you go there to have a drink?," says John Morrison.

For now folks planning on having more than a few drink might want to do so at home.

The TABC will conduct an investigation to make sure the program is not being abused.

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