Two TABC agents walk into a scumbar...

Have you heard the one about the TABC agents on Lower Greenville?

Two TABC agents walk into a Lower Greenville scumbar and order a couple Shirley Temples.

The bartender looks them over and says, We don't see too many TABC agents around here.

The first agent says, Yeah, we've been busy in Irving.

The second agent says, Don't worry, you'll be seeing us more often.

The controversy over TABC agents and local police arresting patrons for being drunk inside bars is reaching national noise levels. BD has stopped counting the emails and calls asking for his opinion.

This is not something the TABC just dreamed up for fun. There have two other recent instances (within the past six months) in other cities. But it was only after KXAS5 followed the agents to Irving bars that it became a national issue.

One TABC official told BD -

We invited the media to cover these events for months, and no one ever listened. But once they got out there with us, there was no stopping the story.

BD even dug deep into his archive and found these photos from 2003 of Whisky Scumbar patrons who were arrested for public intoxication and underage drinking while sitting in the patio. We've obscured their faces since it's not possible to determine the disposition of the cases at this date.

Here's BD's answer to all the emails and phone calls -


Getting a TABC license is a tough and detailed process, but somehow a bunch of idiots on Lower Greenville got them. These idiots - who make up a powerful and dangerous minority on Lower Greenville - operate what we call scumbars.

The first thing they teach bar owners and staff at TABC School is to not serve a patron to the point of intoxication.

But this goes against everything that bar owners do, which is to sell as much booze to a patron as they can (as long as they can still sign the VISA tab), thereby creating profit and tips. Good for business, good for the staff.

A non-drinker is a non-income source and a non-tipper. Bad for business.

There are more bars and bar owners who try to follow the law than there are scumbar owners, which means more trouble for all bar owners. The good guys have trained their staff (and have TABC certification) to recognize a drunk customer. Drunks are not good for business, and the security/bouncers make sure someone who did not know his limit gets home in a cab.

For a complete list of everything a TABC licensee must learn about intoxicated patrons, click here to read the TABC's Rules Chapter 50 - Alcohol Awareness and Education

It takes two to tango, and it takes two to get drunk.

If a patron gets busted for public intox in the bar, the bartender gets arrested too. You just aren't seeing that fact reported in the media or written about in hysterical postings by wanna-stay drunks.

Get drunk, you get busted.

Serve someone to the point of intoxication, then you deserve to lose your TABC permit.

Until the profit motive is overwhelmed by the public safety motive, then it's up to the TABC to step in and restore a proper balance.

Any questions?

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues