One Injured in Crash with Alleged DWI Driver on Fielder Road in Arlington, TX
Arlington, TX -- December 22, 2021, a 27-year-old man was seriously injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver on Fielder Road in Arlington.
Authorities say the incident happened around 8:00 p.m. on Fielder near Randol Mill Road. Preliminary investigation suggests 37-year-old Chasen Garcia was driving a Toyota 4Runner SUV south in the 1200 block of Fielder when he approached stopped traffic that was backed up as people went to see the Interlochen Christmas lights displays. He entered the center-turn lane to bypass the Interlochen traffic and continued south with the intention of turning at the Randol Mill light ahead.
A short distance southward a Hyundai Elantra pulled out of a private drive and began to turn left onto northbound Fielder. Garcia's southbound Toyota crashed into the driver's side of the Hyundai in the center turn lane.
The Hyundai driver suffered serious injuries in the collision. Garcia was reportedly unhurt.
Investigators determined that Garcia was intoxicated at the time of the collision and arrested him for DWI. Blood samples were collected for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Car Accident on Fielder Road in Arlington
Police think one of the drivers involved in this crash was intoxicated by alcohol at the time. Some might argue that's more coincidental than anything and the wreck was caused just as much by two drivers being unable to see one another around a long column of people trying to gawk at festive lights, and it's quite possible that had an impact on what occurred. However, authorities made it a point to say that in their opinion intoxication was a contributing factor.
If blood tests confirm that the alleged DWI driver was too intoxicated to operate a vehicle, some may feel that whatever criminal charges he gets stuck with are pretty much the end of the story. However, those charges don't do much to help the person he injured. That's where Texas dram shop law may play a part.
Dram shop law says that licensed alcohol providers like bars, restaurants, or liquor stores may not serve or sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do, the law may consider them liable for injuries those customers go on to cause or suffer while under the influence. That means any business that over-served the driver in Arlington would have a responsibility to make what amends they could to the person he injured.
It troubles me how often victims are unaware they have such rights after these crashes. Most folks may never hear of dram shop law because police and news sources rarely bring it up in connection to these accidents. Despite how important it is to stop reckless bars and other vendors from over-serving their customers, little attention is drawn to their misbehavior.
With that said, most businesses follow the rules and not every DWI case involves a dram shop claim. I don't know of a specific business that had a hand in these events, but the possibility that one played fast and loose with the rules should be looked into--if not by police then by independent investigators.