A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH has been issued for Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, and Washington Counties until 8pm. Severe thunderstorms are possible with large hail and strong, damaging winds being the main concern. A brief, isolated tornado threat cannot be ruled out, as well.
There has been public outrage across the state of Texas regarding the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission's program called SIPS. Legislators have called for a suspension of the program that has received national publicity for the stepped-up enforcement of alcohol sales to intoxicated persons.
The program entails undercover officers observing customers in bars and arresting those who appear drunk. Bartenders and wait staff who serve intoxicated patrons are also subject to arrest.
Mitch Dill with the local division of TABC, says there is certain criteria law enforcement looks for.
"We're looking for that individual that is disheveled," Dill said. "A person that has lost physical or mental factors, a loud combative person, or an individual that can't stand or walk without support."
The program has been around for a couple of years. It's been more active recently, after roughly 100 more officers were hired to curb the sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons, and decrease drunk driving.
The local division of TABC does perform sting operations, under the SIPS program.
Organizations like MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, support the efforts, opposing parties say the program could cost Texas valuable convention business.
A hearing regarding the SIPS program will be held on April 17 in Austin.
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