A video of a Texan man and his friend trying to catch the last drops of liquor before authorities poured it into a river on June 23 has gone viral.
San Antonio boat enthusiast Steven Perez and his friends were drinking while floating down the Comal River when a boat patrol with the Texas Department of Public Safety intercepted them.
Officers suspected they were carrying canned alcohol aboard after seeing Perez’s friends drinking from a plastic water bottle. A quick inspection of their cooler contents revealed there indeed were several cans of alcohol, which are banned in the river area.
“I had like three [glass bottles] and the rest were cans,” Perez told KHOU 11.
Perez admitted that he was aware of city rules stating there are to be no disposable and foam containers in the river area, and that coolers “must have a locking mechanism on the lid (zipper, velcro, latch, cord) with a maximum size of 30 quarts and one cooler per person.”
“We obviously know it is can ban … like anything, I mean, it is dangerous,” he said. “[However,] we always put it back in the ice chest, so we did not think anything of it.”
When Perez asked if he could have the alcohol back, the officers allowed the young men to catch the last drops while they poured it out.
“We just told them, ‘Hey can we get it back?’ and they were like ‘You know that we are going to dump it, if you all get it, you get it,'” Perez said.
He has since posted a video of him and his friends in the river trying to catch the liquor in a cup and into their mouths.
“Welp my alcohol got taken away at the river but the new Braunfels Police gave it back,” Perez said on Twitter.
— River Steve. (@TheStevie_Jay) June 24, 2019
People who oppose the ban on disposable containers and large coolers have launched a legal challenge against New Braunfels city’s river tourism rules. However, AP reported on May 23 that the Third Court of Appeals overturned a 2014 summary judgment that state District Judge Don Burgess had granted in favor of river businesses and other opponents of the“can ban,” reinstating a prohibition on coolers larger than 16 quarts.
The city first banned the 16 quart coolers back in 2007 to prevent water tubers from littering in the river area. Another vote in 2011 favored banning disposable containers on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers within city limits. Violators would also face a fine of up to $500.
Perez’s nine-second clip has been watched more than 3.6 million times, liked 252,000 times, and retweeted 56,000 times on Twitter at the time of writing.
— River Steve. (@TheStevie_Jay) June 26, 2019
The speed at which the post circulated caught him off guard.
“When I saw it, I was like ‘Wow,’” Perez said. “It just happened overnight.”
New Braunfels Police Department defended the dumping of alcohol as “standard protocol” for officers and confirmed that the officers on the video have seen the footage.
Police asked the community to refrain from using prohibited containers.
“Glass, in particular, and also styrofoam then also the disposable containers would all be [a] fine up to $500,” Police Spokesperson David Ferguson told KHOU 11. “We just ask that you prepare for that ahead of time, don’t bring those items in the first place and you won’t have any problems.”