People choosing to drink in local bars may be faced with more than a pounding headache and extreme nausea the morning after a night of fun.Thanks to a recent decision to send undercover officers of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission into bars in search of people who are publicly intoxicated, local bar patrons may want to reconsider just how much they plan on drinking when they head out on the town.
On March 10, more than 30 bars in Irving were targeted, with officers arresting or citing dozens of bar patrons. TABC claims the program is aimed at reducing drunken driving, the prevalence of noticeably drunk people, and the bars and bartenders serving them and underage drinkers.
But is infiltrating private businesses in search of what is pretty typical bar behavior really ethical?
Granted, underage drinkers should not be in bars participating in illegal activities and jeopardizing not only themselves but also the establishments they are attending. People should certainly not be driving while drunk, putting their own lives and everyone else’s in danger. Those are definite reasons for citing someone with a ticket or arresting them.
But being drunk in a bar? What else do people go to bars to do? Drink, pick up a member of the opposite sex and hang out with friends. Plain and simple. If there is a designated driver, what is the harm in friends slamming back a few, enjoying the good times?
Bars should be more responsible in checking IDs and not serving underage drinkers. If someone is noticeably intoxicated, bartenders should not serve them any more drinks. If there appears to be a threat of patrons driving under the influence, bar owners or managers should make sure their patrons have a cab or another means of getting home.
Putting responsibility where it belongs is essential, but punishing people enjoying a night out is unfair.
Editor in Chief Courtney Reese for the editorial board.