Friday, March 31, 2006


Public Drunkenness includes the bar?

Police in several states have launched crackdowns on drunk driving and public intoxication -- and are now arresting drunk people who aren't driving and who aren't in public.

In at least two states -- Texas and Virginia -- police have started going into bars (sometimes undercover!) to arrest people who fail sobriety tests.

Police say the action is necessary to prevent drunk driving. They also say they don't have to wait until people leave a bar to arrest them for public intoxication, since the legal definition of "public space" includes the inside of drinking establishments.

A few questions: First, why is public intoxication a crime at all? Second, how can privately owned property be construed as "public space"? Third, does the breathalizer force people to give evidence against themselves?

This is simply an outrage. From now on, I'm drinking at home.

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