Gabriel Velazquez, 1 Injured in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in College Station, TX
College Station, TX -- February 15, 2020, Gabriel Velazquez and another person were injured after an accident allegedly involving alcohol.
Investigators with the College Station Police Department said that the crash happened in the early hours of Saturday at Texas Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.
According to police, 29-year-old Gabriel Velazquez was driving a vehicle along Lincoln and turned onto Texas Avenue. Doing so, police say he entered the path of another vehicle, resulting in a collision. This sent both vehicles off-road where the other driver's vehicle hit a Texas A&M sign.
Both Velazquez and the other driver had non-life-threatening injuries following the wreck. While investigating, officers said they smelled alcohol coming from Velazquez. They charged him with DWI.
At this time, additional details surrounding the crash are unavailable.
It wouldn't surprise me if police allegations proved true. The early mornings in a college town are pretty dangerous thanks to the countless bars, restaurants, and clubs that send their customers home for the night. Something I always try to stress to the public is that while holding drunk drivers responsible is important, it's also important to find out who gave them the alcohol in the first place.
According to Texas Dram Shop Law, it's illegal for alcohol providers to over-serve customers who are obviously intoxicated. Yet walk into any bar around midnight and you're likely to see people stumbling away from the bar with another drink in hand. Inevitably, some of those people try to drive home, and people get hurt as a result.
Alcohol providers know that this danger exists, but many of them simply don't care. Their priority is to sell alcohol to whoever they can. As such, our laws see fit that they be held accountable when their actions get people hurt. While police typically file charges against drunk drivers, as appears to be the case here, they rarely go after the servers who helped them become dangerously intoxicated in the first place.
That's a burden that usually falls to victims and families. That's why I do my part to inform the public about Dram Shop Law and the importance of holding negligent business accountable. While it's not entirely clear what exactly led to this crash, my experience tells me it's very likely that further investigations will reveal that a local business contributed to these events.