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Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) in Austin, Texas

Texas has more square miles of inland water than any other state and more than 620,000 boats registered to travel Texas waters. While most people are at least somewhat familiar with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), many are not familiar with Boating While Intoxicated (BWI).

Although the two offenses are similar, the Texas Penal Code distinguishes between “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) and “boating while intoxicated” (BWI). The Texas Penal Code provides that a person commits the offense of “driving while intoxicated” when he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.

The offense of “boating while intoxicated” occurs when a person operates a watercraft while intoxicated. Both offenses are Class B misdemeanors and require a minimum confinement term of 72 hours. In addition, for the commission of both DWI and BWI, the “operator” of the vehicle must have been proven intoxicated. Police generally administer many of the same tests in attempting to detect whether a BWI or DWI violation has occurred. These may include field sobriety and blood alcohol level tests.
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TABC is trying to justify their existence by going after Austin’s Dallas Nite Club

KVUE reported that there are new troubles for the popular Dallas Nite Club after accusations that the Austin club puts more drunken drivers on the streets than any other Austin bar.
Undercover agents went back and allegedly found more problems.
An undercover operation Wednesday found an employee serving a person the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says was already drunk.

The attorney for the club says that’s something police could find at any establishment.

“We found another intoxicated person who by his own admission had shown up 45 minutes earlier and in that short time frame had consumed four alcoholic beverages, four beers and was purchasing his fifth when he was intercepted by the agents,” TABC Lt. Robert Saenz said.

The server was written a ticket for serving an intoxicated person. The person he served was arrested on the spot for public intoxication.

Of all the people stopped for drunken driving (DWIs) this year, 28 of them say they were coming from the Dallas Nite Club.

That’s more than any other club in Austin; consequently, they want to revoke the club’s liquor license.

Charles Webb, the attorney for the Austin club, says he is currently in negotiations with the TABC on behalf of his clients.

“No responsible business owner wants to have intoxicated people leaving their club, particularly not my client who’s been in business for 25 years and has never been sued for any injury from anyone leaving the club,” Webb said. “I think that’s a very important statistic.”

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