Texas Arresting Thousands of People in Bars for Intoxication

Texas sends undercover agents into bars to arrest people who are intoxicated, and has been doing so since 2001, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

A sting operation “was conducted recently in a Dallas suburb where agents infiltrated 36 bars and arrested 30 people” for being intoxicated. Sting operations have increased throughout the entire state with thousands of people being arrested. This has been made possible with the hiring of about 100 more agents.

The extent of the sting operation came to public light after two hotel guests were arrested in the hotel bar rather than being permitted to return to their rooms. Texas tourism officials fear that the Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s aggressive practices may harm the states tourism and convention business. The Dallas Convention and visitors Bureau has received hundreds of calls and two groups -- one with about 25,000 people -- have said they won’t use Dallas as a convention site because of the sting operations.

Rep. Kino Flores says that it becomes a problem when undercover agents enter bars and arrest people on suspicion of intoxication. “That’s an infringement on our civil liberties.”

Texas is home of the national corporate headquarters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.


  • Texas arresting people in bars for being drunk. ABCNews (abcnews.go.com), March 24, 2006; Stengle, Jamie. Tourism officials worried about public intoxication crackdown. Austin American-Statesman, March 31, 2006; Falkenberg, Lisa. Crackdown inside bars to get review. Houston Chronicle, April 6, 2006.

Filed Under: Legal Issues