Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.
The first sting operation was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people for public intoxication, said the commission’s Carolyn Beck.
Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkeness, Beck said.
The goal, she said, was to detain drunks before they leave a bar and go do something dangerous like drive a car.
"We feel that the only way we’re going to get at the drunk driving problem and the problem of people hurting each other while drunk is by crackdowns like this," she said.
"There are a lot of dangerous and stupid things people do when they’re intoxicated, other than get behind the wheel of a car," Beck said. "People walk out into traffic and get run over, people jump off of balconies trying to reach a swimming pool and miss."
She said the sting operations would continue throughout the state.