If you’re over the age of 21 and enjoy going out every once in a while, it’s likely that you’ll enter a few bars in your lifetime. When we are out drinking, we generally expect the bartenders and staff of the establishment have our best interests in mind and wouldn’t over-serve us if we appeared to already be intoxicated. Unfortunately, for many this is not the case.
Recently, a drunk driving crash that occurred in Houston, near Harrisburg and 75th sent two people to the hospital, one of which was a five-year-old girl. The man responsible for the accident, Israel Suarez Lugo, has been charged with two counts of intoxication assault. He has since been released from jail on two $2,500 bonds.
A witness who happened to see the wreck says he noticed a red truck with a female passenger inside. The truck was driving erratically.
“He drove around the vehicle and tried to run the red light and hit the vehicle,” he said. Seconds later, he says he saw the truck crash into a black Cadillac carrying four people.
The witness knew the people inside the car needed help and ran towards the scene to assist in any way he could before an ambulance arrived. Investigators believe Lugo was intoxicated based on both witness statements and a field sobriety test.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crime Division, Lugo had been drinking at the Time Out #1 bar on Fuqua prior to the accident. The DA Office stated, “We’re going to find out if in fact he was there, and if not, where he was. We’re going to find out who was serving him and if someone over-served him. This is not a minor issue, but it is an over-service issue from the evidence we’ve seen so far.”
What are Dram Shop Laws?
The Texas statute known as the Dram Shop Act became a law in 1987. It holds an alcohol establishment liable for injuries resulting from the over-consumption of alcohol due to being over-served. A provider of alcoholic beverages can be held liable for damages if there is proof:
- An individual was obviously intoxicated to the extent they presented a clear danger to themselves and others at the time the provider sold or served them alcohol.
- The serving of the alcohol was the specific cause of the damages and injuries sustained.
The Dram Shop Act provides that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) can revoke the alcohol permit of a provider who violates the statue.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Our law firm has assisted clients throughout Texas in the successful litigation of their personal injury and drunk driving lawsuits. We have years of experience with all aspects of injury and death law and have taken hundreds of cases to court. If you have a question about a personal injury claim, you can contact Dax F. Garza, P.C. confidentially at no cost.