Intoxication Nation: Police on the Prowl in Bars

Part 3: In some communities, police enter bars in search of would-be drunk drivers.
3:00 | 09/21/12

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Transcript for Intoxication Nation: Police on the Prowl in Bars
. We've just seen all the trouble, even tragedy, that too much drinking can cause but what about the responsible drinkers out there? Are they now going to pay the price. Police are going into bars looking for overdrinkers before they even get in their cars. Here's cecilia vega on the stakeout. Hi, you guys all set? Friday night in worcester, massachusetts, a team of agents ther to plan an undercover sting operation. Everyone knows where they are going to and your list of bars. The target isn't a mob boss or a drug gang, it's just the customers at the local watering holes. That's right, these agents are infiltrating bars on the lookout for the one thing you'd expect to find there, drunks, even though they have yet to commit any crime. When you start going after people for what are essentially thought crimes, you've really crossed a line, into a very dangerous place. State alcohol control agents have adopted controversial ics hoping to keep bar patrons from winding up like this guy. Help me out. We'll make it. So wasted, he plants his face smack into the pavement during a sobriety test. Step out of the vehicle. Or this liquored-up lady, who steps out of her car wearing only a see-through top and a g-string. Later, she tries to kick in the back window of the squad car. Then there's this suspected drunk -- 29-year-old canadian robert wilkinson. ♪ Is this the real life or is this just fantasy ♪ you may remember him as the star of this squad car video classic belting out a boozy rendition of queen's "bohemian rhapsody." ♪ Now I've gone and thrown it all away ♪ these drivers were busted the old-fashioned way. Pulled over after they got behind the wheel, but before they could wreak havoc like this. Bombed motorists are responsible for an estimated 10,000 fatalities a year. Cops are cracking down on drinking and driving. In a new nationwide tactic, they are aimed at drunk driver s before they can cause any harm, even if it means getting tough on all of us. Hey, no drinking and driving, guys. At this dui checkpoint in sacramento, california, it doesn't matter if you're swerving on the road or not. The cops stop everyone -- even the stone-cold sober. This lady was far from wasted but she was still pulled aside and given a bralyzer test. Critics say needlessly hassled. You are half of the legal limit so you are totally legal to drive. Over the course of the evening, hundreds of cars are stopped. Am I really going to jail? Yet only a couple of drivers are actually arrested on suspicion of being legally intoxicated. If we stop 800 vehicles and we get 1 dui driver tonight, that's 1 too many. But critics say wait a second. Dui fatality rates are actually on the decline and the zeal to crack down on drunk driving has become far too intrusive. What they are doing is they are basically harassing responsible adults. Sarah longwell is with the american beverage institute -- a trade group for restaurants. She says it would be far more effective -- not to mention fairer -- if police stuck to catching drunk drivers in the ago rather than rounding up law-abiding citizens. It's having a chilling effect on whether someone will have a glass of wine for dinner and won't help us get drunk drivers off the road. To see "big brother" in action, longwell says look no further than a government pilot program aimed at putting alcohol-sensing devices in every new vehicle. Too high of a reading and the car won't start. I think that there is an anti-alcohol hysteria that is going on out there where people think if you have anything to drink prior to driving you should be treated like a criminal. An anti-alcohol hysteria. You really believe that out there? Absolutely. Absolutely. And the goal is what. Keep the drunks off the road. But nothing angers those critics more than undercover bar sting operations -- like the one we saw in massachusetts. How do you know what you're looking fo what are the signs? Slired speech, incapacitated. The cops move quickly with this guy. So blitzed he can barely walk. Yet, keys in hand, he was about to drive home. Can I have your car keys, sir? We want to make sure you get home safely, sir. It's a no-brainer, guy. It's nice and easy. The man is hauled off and police say this is exactly why they do this -- a potential accident may have been averted. He could have killed someone or injured someone, he could have injured himself. But what about all the other suspect ed drunks the cop detained this evening? Sure, they may have caught a few too many, but there is not a drop of proof they had any intention of driving. We got to make sure you get home okay. But don't bother telling that to these cops. No smoking in the cruiser. They end up in the back of a cop car just for being drunk in a bar but rather than take them to jail they get a ride home courtesy of the worcester pd. You have patrons here, or bar owners, who say this is ridiculous. This is not fair. If you can't get drunk in a bar, where can you get drunk? Well, you really shouldn't get drunk in a bar. The bottom line is, we got him a ride home and eliminated any problems we would have had. That really does overreach into a place where it's not just nanny state or big brother. It feels very dangerous to people's civil liberties and it's something that all americans should be concerned about.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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