Lubbock TABC Responds to Suspension of Undercover Operation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/14/06

Lubbock TABC Responds to Suspension of Undercover Operation

The Lubbock Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is responding to the suspension of undercover public intoxication stings. The TABC undercover stings were put on suspension on Thursday amid national criticism.

Undercover agents go into bars and arrest those that are publicly intoxicated in effort to reduce DWI arrests and fatalities in Texas. It's called "Stop Sales to Intoxicated Persons," or SSIP. NewsChannel 11 obtained a letter from the TABC administrator, which called for the "temporary delay in operations."

The letter states that even though the TABC feels this is a program with positive implications, it is time to re-evaluate the program since it is under public scrutiny.

A hearing is set for Monday and that's where a committee will discuss how to balance the community's safety with aggressive law enforcement. Even though the undercover operations have been halted, TABC Lieutenant Gene Anderson says agents will continue to do their jobs. "We will continue to go into bars and restaurants in our open capacity, meaning recognizable, not undercover. We are still looking for those public intoxicated people and people selling to intoxicated folks," said Anderson.

Attending the hearing will be state legislators and the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commissioners.

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