Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THE WAR ON BOOZE








The War on Booze is nothing new.

We’re all familiar with the reign of terror called Prohibition. Going further back, temperance leagues have scolded and hounded the American drinker since the first still was erected in the New World. We could, of course, trace it back even further; one can imagine that the first time some hirsute, broken-toothed caveman slurped up the rank remains of rotting, fermented fruit in a commendable effort to forget the workaday worries of Paleolithic life, some other caveman stood nearby, curling his lip with disapproval.
Recently, however, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission added a new twist to the old crusade. Beginning in August of last year, under the cheekily named auspices of Operation Last Call, undercover TABC agents infiltrated bars primarily in North Texas to scout out drunken patrons. When a particular tippler looked as if he was having too much fun, they alerted uniformed authorities, who then demanded sobriety tests and, if they determined the poor fellow was drunk, issued citations for public intoxication. They even went so far as to bust tourists in hotel bars, despite the fact they were registered at the hotel and their vehicles were parked several states away. Their justification? With a straight face they claimed those drunk tourists might just jump off their hotel room balconies.


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