• September 14, 2021

Passenger Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 521 in Brazoria County, TX

UPDATE (September 28, 2021): Authorities have identified the driver of the vehicle that crashed as 26-year-old Sandy Marie Lopez. The identity of the seriously-injured passenger has not yet been released.

Brazoria County, TX -- August 22, 2021, a 33-year-old man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 521 in Brazoria County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:25 p.m. on FM 521 near County Road 426. Preliminary investigation suggests a 26-year-old woman was driving a Dodge Journey SUV east on the roadway when she lost control. The driver later told police she swerved to avoid another vehicle traveling in her lane. The Dodge veered left and overturned onto its right side, barrel-rolling several times before coming to rest in the road's northern ditch.

The SUV's passenger was ejected during the rollover and suffered serious injuries. The driver reported suffered non-incapacitating injuries.

Investigators noted the driver was unwilling to perform the full battery of field sobriety tests and refused to provide a blood specimen for testing. After a warrant was obtained and blood was drawn, the driver admitted to consuming alcohol prior to the crash. She was arrested for DWI.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Alleged DWI Accident on FM 521 in Brazoria County

Police brought up alcohol as a possible factor here, reinforced in no small part by the driver's own confession of drinking before the crash. If blood tests confirm alcohol was a major factor, there may be further considerations--not just ensuring the right criminal charges are involved, but also to figure out whether the driver is the only one to blame for the crash. There's still another party that may have played a role: The business that sold the victims their alcohol.

Texas dram shop law says alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. Because bars can't be put in handcuffs, this measure helps people (including the intoxicated drivers) seek much-needed help when they're hurt in DWI accidents. Moreover, it makes sure the offending establishment faces consequences and learns to change its ways.

Passenger Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 521 in Brazoria County, TX

So will the authorities trace the alcohol back to its source? Much as it pains me to say this, I doubt it. Police don't invest many resources into looking for dram shop violations, despite how important it is to stop that reckless and illegal behavior anywhere it's found. Victims of drunk driving accidents are often best served by working with independent investigators in the pursuit of the evidence needed to hold such a negligent business responsible. Armed with receipts, witness statements, and video footage, many victims have successfully held bad bars accountable for failing to live up to their obligations to public safety.


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