• February 22, 2022

Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 513 in Hunt County, TX

Hunt County, TX -- February 5, 2022, a 35-year-old man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 513 in Hunt County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:55 p.mm. on FM 513 South near County Road 3411. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck northeast on the roadway when he entered a left-hand curve. He reportedly failed to negotiate the curve and left the road to the right, over-corrected, and passed through the road the other way. The truck side-skidded across the travel lanes and onto the grassy shoulder, then hit a utility pole.

The driver sustained serious injuries in the crash. He reportedly admitted to drinking before the wreck and had an alcoholic beverage on his person, but initially refused to provide samples for testing until police obtained a warrant.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 513S in Hunt County

UPDATE (April 11, 2022): Later investigative reports about this crash indicate the victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .133, suggesting he was intoxicated at the time. I don't say that in judgment or to launch into some lecture about drunk driving, but if alcohol was a confirmed factor that may change how the wreck should be addressed.

As I mentioned previously, alcohol-related accidents sometimes involve holding the businesses that over-serve it responsible for the damage their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. Under dram shop law such a business may have a legal duty to make what amends it can to the injured victim.

Unfortunately, as I also mentioned finding evidence of dram violations isn't really a priority for police. It's often better for injured victims to work with independent investigators to secure the needed proof of over-service. Unless they're confronted about their negligence, many bad bars aren't likely to see any need to change their ways. For the public good as well as to help crash victims it's best to ensure those businesses see the error of their ways.

Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 513 in Hunt County, TX

If blood tests confirm that intoxication was a major contributing factor as police suspected, there may be further considerations. Some might think I'm talking about assigning correct charges, but I actually mean figuring out whether the suspect is the only one who should face consequences. Some of that will depend on where he got his alcohol and under what circumstances. But what do I mean?

Texas dram shop law says alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages he goes on to cause or suffer while under the influence. Because law-breaking bars can't be put in handcuffs, this measure helps injured victims (including DWI drivers themselves) seek much-needed help as they try to recover after these accidents. Moreover, it makes sure the offending bar or store faces consequences for its reckless over-service.

So will the authorities trace the driver's alcohol back to its source? I don't like saying this, but I doubt it. Police don't invest much into looking for dram shop violations, despite how important it is to nip that behavior in the bud. Not every DWI accident involves a dram violation, but if one is suspected then it's often better to work with independent investigators to get the needed proof. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, many folks have successfully held bad businesses accountable for failing to live up to their obligations to public safety.

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