Daniel Alfred Bernhard, Melissa Ann Chamberlain Injured in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Hewitt, TX
Hewitt, TX -- January 26, 2021, Daniel Alfred Bernhard and Melissa Ann Chamberlain were injured due to an accident allegedly involving drunk driving.
Authorities reported that the crash happened at around 2:29 a.m. at Spring Valley Road and Hewitt Drive.
In their reports, officials said that 44-year-old Daniel Alfred Bernhard was in a Ford Mustang traveling southbound on Hewitt. At Spring Valley, police say a westbound GMC pickup driven by 27-year-old Melissa Ann Chamberlain disregarded the traffic signal and crashed into to the side of Bernhard's vehicle.
Bernhard had reportedly incapacitating injuries while Chamberlain was listed as being possibly injured. Police say Chamberlain admitted to drinking prior to the crash, and preliminary test results returned a BAC of "at least .2". Authorities charged Chamberlain with intoxication assault.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Daniel Alfred Bernhard, Melissa Ann Chamberlain Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Hewitt
If what the police say here is true, then it would seem the authorities were thorough in their investigations concerning the allegedly drunk driver. As important as that is, however, it bothers me that few areas outside of Houston ever bring up whether or not they're looking into where the driver got their alcohol. Houston has a considerable amount of drunk driving accidents, so they learned that there is often an important factor that contributes to such serious wrecks: negligent alcohol providers.
I can't begin to count how many times a serious drunk driving crash made its way across my desk, and further investigations revealed that the driver had been over-served by a local bar, restaurant, or similar establishment. The reason that matters is because those establishments are breaking the law by over-serving intoxicated patrons, and the victims hurt in the crash can hold them liable for their recklessness under Dram Shop Law. Not only does this get victims much needed assistance, it also helps to make communities safer by punishing negligent alcohol providers.
So why don't news outlets ask the authorities if they know where drunk drivers were prior to the crash? Why don't the authorities make it a point to inform the public about this important area of the law and the possibility that a local business needs to be held accountable for breaking the law? A lot of times, it's simply because they don't even know about Dram Shop. That's why I take these opportunities to help spread the word and let people know that focusing solely on drunk drivers, while reasonable, only addresses part of the problem in a lot of these crashes.