Adults who drink alcohol are supposed to moderate how much they drink before they go out and drive. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. People who drink too much and drive can be held accountable if they hurt or injure someone else. But what about the bars and restaurants that purposely over serve to get better sales and tips? There are laws in place for those establishments that abuse alcohol sales and endanger the lives of other people.
In December 2018, a Dallas jury returned a $25 million wrongful death verdict against a club in Dallas. In reaching its verdict, the jury found that the club over-served former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent, who flipped his Mercedes, killing his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.
A Galveston couple mourns the death of their 22-year-old son recently killed in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. The couple has sued two local establishments, alleging the drunk driver became intoxicated after having been served alcoholic beverages for over 6 hours at the establishments.
After last year's Houston Chronicle investigation, "Out of Control," local law enforcements have responded with the establishment of a regional task force to better patrol the roads. The article identified that "more than 600 motorists, passengers and pedestrians die every year in traffic collisions often caused by drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or distracted and often on poorly designed roads", ranking Houston roads among the nation's deadliest. The article also criticized local law enforcements for their lack of a comprehensive strategy to lower the number of traffic accidents, and even lowering the number of enforcements in certain regions where fatal accidents rose. However, Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzales is hopeful that the creation of the new task group which aims to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe drivers will help keep the roads safer for Houstonians. Sherriff Ed Gonzales stated that "we want to make sure we're visible and not just performing spot enforcement, and make it more sustainable."
Recently, a local task force was formed in response to a 2017 article in the Houston Chronicle which found that Houston is home to the nation's most dangerous roads. According to the article, more than 600 motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions. The majority of these fatal accidents involved driver inattention, driving while intoxicated, and speeding. The Chronicle's investigation found that a lack of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue may be partly to blame. In response, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called for the formation of a regional task force to better patrol roads. The task force was designed to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe driving practices, with the goal of promoting safe driving and reducing the number of serious motor vehicle accidents that occur on Houston area roads each year.
Firm Partner Benny Agosto, Jr. reached a confidential settlement against Tejano Bar, LLC d/b/a Coyotes Bar regarding an incident that occurred on March 26, 2017. The settlement brings a favorable end to the lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of Ms. Christine Rocio in a car crash.
On the evening of December 16, 2018, 19-year-old Erick Hernandez left a facility named Frontera Events Venue on Houston Boulevard in his Ford F-150 shortly before 11:00 p.m. Just minutes later, he swerved across three lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into an SUV that Taylor Phillips was driving. The 23-year-old mother was killed. In addition, her 1-year-old son and 48-year-old mother were injured.
Once again, police officers chasing a suspect who was evading arrest resulted in injuries to innocent motorists. Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night, October 21, 2018, police began to chase a suspect who refused to comply with a routine traffic stop. The chase started close to the intersection of York Street and Harrisburg Boulevard. The suspect fled in his white SUV towards downtown. Reaching Chartres Street near Texas Street, the suspect slammed into the rear of a Honda Civic, knocking it into the back of another vehicle. The crash was so hard that it ejected a woman from the Civic. Still trying to flee, the suspect then reversed, and in the process, he hit a truck and another vehicle. Shortly after that, the police apprehended him near the intersection of Texas and Bastrop streets. The suspect evidently was attempting to evade arrest for driving with a suspended license and because he was driving while intoxicated. He has now been charged with evading, DWI, failure to stop and render aid, and intoxication assault.
The Department of Transportation has released statistics about driving while intoxicated. In the Houston area, there was an increase from the year 2016 to 2017 in wrecks involving motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated. Thankfully, there was a decline in Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, and Montgomery counties. Nevertheless, the data remain alarming.
A police officer for the City of Houston has been charged with driving while intoxicated with her young daughter in the car at the time. Cassandra Crosby, who is 36 years old, joined the Houston Police Department in 2008. Crosby, now out on bail, appeared in court on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.