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Now playing in Texas: Minority Report

Remember that Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report that came out a few years ago? The gist of it was that the police has all this weird technology that enabled them to tell who was going to commit a crime before they committed it, so they could arrest them first and prevent the crime from happening. It didn't work out too well in the movies.

So I wonder what makes Texas think that busting people for drinking in bars, in the hope that they won't drink and drive, will work out any better? (Link to article about the new crackdown here). As David McCann says over at MiSoapbox:

    We’re going to create a big mess for our society if we start arresting people based on crimes we think they might commit later. I read an article not long ago suggesting that it’s very easy to predict which people are going to commit violent crimes. Maybe if we put all of those people in jail, the crime rate would drop. Heck….if we put everyone in jail, the crime rate would surely drop to zero. Wouldn’t that be great?

Right on, Dave. I'm all for trying to reduce (better yet, eliminate) drunk driving, but I don't think this is the way to go. Especially iffy is that it's up to the officer's judgment to decide who's intoxicated by observing their behavior. I can think of all sorts of medical conditions that could land someone in the hoosegow when stone cold sober. Oh, the lawsuits...

Anyway, while I doubt this will put a damper on meetings in Texas, I'd let people know about it if I had something coming up in the Lone Star state. It would be pretty awful to have your key stakeholders thrown in the slam because they had a few nightcaps in the hotel bar. I'd also check out whether or not police will be monitoring private functions, like receptions held in a hotel. That could be even more interesting—what would the meeting organization's liability be if someone got arrested at their function? I know you all try to control alcohol consumption with trained bartenders, drink tickets, etc., but sometimes people do overimbibe anyway. I don't know enough about the specifics, but it might be worth talking to a lawyer about if you have Texas meetings.

The big winners in all this won't be potential victims of drunk drivers, or the legal system that will undoubted clog up with soggy criminals. Hotel room service and minibars, though, will probably get a big boost as the party moves from bar to guest room.

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