In July of 2012, Ed Blackwell was driving in Spring, Texas when he entered the southbound lanes of Interstate 45 near Woodlands Parkway. He then suddenly made a sharp U-Turn and began travelling north in the southbound lanes. Shortly thereafter, he crashed into a car occupied by Anis Atkins and Dominique Hobbs. As a result of the crash, Atkins and Hobbs died. Stephen Isbell, a passenger in Blackwell's vehicle, also lost his life as a result of the collision. At the time of the crash, Blackwell's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. Prior to getting in the car, Blackwell and Isbell were drinking at Papa's Ice House in Spring.
Texas led the nation in the number of drunk driving deaths in 2013, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). There were 1,337 drunk driving fatalities, or almost 40 percent of all traffic accident deaths that year, according to the MADD website. This represented an increase of 3.6 percent over the previous year. Moreover, Texas frequently leads the U.S. in the number of drunk driving accidents and fatalities.