• January 28, 2022

Curtis Laird Injured by Alleged DWI Driver on Eagle Rd in Chambers County, TX

Chambers County, TX -- December 17, 2021, 37-year-old Curtis Laird was seriously injured in a traffic collision on Eagle Road in Chambers County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on Eagle Road at Eagle Ferry Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests 50-year-old Tammy Dearman was driving a Jeep Wrangler and Laird was driving a Polaris diesel ATV south on Eagle Drive. Reports indicate Dearman attempted to pass the Polaris in a no-passing zone; as the Jeep drove by Lair attempted to turn left onto Eagle Ferry and collided with the SUV.

Laird was ejected from the ATV and suffered serious injuries. Dearman received possible injuries.

Investigators suspected Dearman was intoxicated. Blood tests later showed she had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .129 at the time of the collision.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Curtis Laird Accident on Eagle Rd in Chambers County

Police seem to have confirmed that their suspect was intoxicated at the time of the crash. That leads to a follow-up question: Where did her alcohol come from that evening?

Most towns have at least a handful of watering holes to choose from if one decides to have a drink, to say nothing of grabbing a few cold ones at home. Some may even wonder why it would matter to figure out where the alcohol came from at all; drunk driving is the same no matter how the "drunk" part happens, right? Not exactly.

Texas dram shop law says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated customer may be held legally responsible for any injuries that person causes while under the influence. By far the most common application of this law is for DWI crashes in which someone is seriously hurt or even killed.

Some may be skeptical of dram shop law's purpose: Why punish a bar or store for simply giving customers what they want? Mostly because dram shop cases typically involve drastic over-service far beyond a simple "one more for the road." It applies in any cases where a bar's staff or a store clerk can tell one way or another they should refuse further service to a drunk customer, so even that last "farewell" drink would be a problem. However, it was designed to punish bars that simply won't stop pouring drinks until the money dries up, no matter how clearly it affects the customer.

I'm not saying I know for sure that a bar or other alcohol vendor had a hand in the crash on Eagle Road. Not every DWI accident also involves a dram shop violation. I only know from long experience that the possibility deserves investigation. Too many vendors get away with over-service because the public isn't generally aware they can be held accountable for it; that same public is full of people who certainly could have used help getting back on their feet after being hurt by an over-served customer.

Curtis Laird Injured by Alleged DWI Driver on Eagle Rd in Chambers County, TX

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