Austin Texas Takes DWI Fight to the Bars

The Austin, Texas Police Department has identified bars in the city that drunk drivers are most likely to say was the last place they were served alcohol. The list was compiled after asking those stopped for suspicion of DWI where they had been drinking that night. That in turn gives police an indication of where to look for both drunk drivers and alcohol serving violations.

The Austin Police Department shares that information with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. It is the responsibility of TABC to investigate incidents of ‘over-serving’ or selling alcohol to someone who appears to be intoxicated.

Earlier this year the TABC created controversy when they sent undercover agents into bars looking for over-served patrons. The intent was to arrest drunks before they attempted to drive. The agents used cursory visual analysis rather than field sobriety tests or BAC equipment, which made the effort seem subjective. The action also failed to determine if the intoxicated person actually intended to drive or whether there was a sober designated driver available. As a consequence, the program was stopped.

The Austin Police would like to see the bar information they compile benefit both the police and TABC in the fight against drunk driving. The TABC has indicated an interest in resurrecting its undercover sting operation though it is conducting a review of procedures and policies.

In the mean time APD continues to update the list of bars most likely to have been frequented by a DWI suspect before getting on the road.
The current top five bars in are: 1. Cedar Street, 2. Rain, 3. Club Carnaval, 4. Blind Pig and 5. Oilcan Harry’s

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