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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
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Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
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After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Preemptive strike

 
 

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is up for review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission this year. TABC has been cracking down on alcohol in an effort to prove its worthiness by handing out more alcohol-related tickets. Despite the changes, the TSAC should not renew TABC, at least not as an enforcement agency.
TABC started a campaign on Wednesday, March 22 to arrest otherwise law-abiding citizens in bars for public intoxication. The campaign is known as the Sales to Intoxicated Persons Sting (SIPS). By all technicalities, this is legal. That isn’t the problem though; the problem is the application of the law in what amounts to pre-crime enforcement. The purpose of public intoxication laws is to safely remove those inebriated individuals who might pose a threat to others. The scope of the law was not intended for police officers to go into bars undercover and arrest individuals who have had a few drinks and are trying to enjoy their evening out. The current sting operation is being conducted to specifically target and punish those who drink, regardless of their intent or capability of leading to a criminal act.
The reasoning behind TABC’s actions is logical enough. Texas leads the nation in DWI offenses and fatalities. If this was TABC’s intent, then why did it raid hotel cocktail lounges? Guess what, these people have a high probability of being registered at the hotel. They are slightly more likely to stagger up to their rooms than get behind the wheel. TABC also reportedly arrested those who had a designated driver. This is where the SIPS begins to lose both its logic and legitimacy.
There is a minority in favor of the operation though. Reducing drunk driving in Texas is a noble goal. There are many things that can be done to improve drunk driving. Perhaps more comprehensive education and special presentations on the dangers of driving drunk at Texas public universities is in order. Stiffer penalties for those who drive drunk is another potential solution. Perhaps beefing up patrol on troubled areas of town where DWIs have been statistically common will lower DWIs. Anything but the current application, in fact, would be beneficial. Arresting drunks registered at hotels or with designated drivers, however, seems to be the least logical option for reducing drunk driving fatalities.
This operation has worried students at A&M as well.
Marcus Dunn, senior electrical engineering major, said, “It sets a dangerous precedent for anyone who drinks at a bar, restaurant or any other public establishment, where the act of drinking is not only condoned, but almost encouraged.” Northgate is dominated by bars and other drinking establishments. The local economy would collapse quickly if SIPS were implemented here.
Owning a gun does not imply someone is going to rob a bank. By the same logic, being drunk does not mean someone will get behind the wheel of a car. This operation is badly designed, orchestrated and implemented. There are real solutions out there to solve Texas’ DWI problem, but arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens who happen to be drunk is not one of them. There are better ways to spend taxpayer’s money than punishing those who want to relax – and that’s something to drink to.

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