• April 18, 2022

Driver Injured in Crash after Police Chase off Southwest Freeway in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- April 18, 2022, a woman was critically injured in a single-vehicle accident after a short police chase along the Southwest Freeway in Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:25 a.m. on the 2200 block of the freeway near Greenbriar Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests an HPD officer attempted to stop a Nissan Rogue that was swerving on the roadway without its lights on. The driver reportedly stopped and gave her license to the officer, then sped away down the freeway. She exited some distance further down onto the feeder road, ran off the other side, then drove through some private driveways and crashed into a sign. After the impact the Nissan caught fire.

The victim was rescued from the burning vehicle and was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

Investigators say the victim smelled of alcohol when she was stopped and when she was rescued. She is believed to have been intoxicated.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Single-Vehicle Accident off Southwest Fwy in Houston

According to reports police suspect the victim was intoxicated--a suspicion heightened by allegedly smelling the odor of alcohol on her person. It's not indisputable proof of alcohol use, but I think most would agree it's a good reason to look further into it. Given the severity of her injuries it's unlikely officers drew blood for testing, but their usual alternative is to check her hospital treatment records to find out what their tests say.

If those tests confirm that intoxication was a factor as police believe, there may be further considerations here--namely figuring out whether the victim is the only one with potential consequences coming. People don't always realize that another party--one that too often escapes responsibility despite its key role in DWI accident--should also be investigated.

Driver Injured in Crash after Police Chase off Southwest Freeway in Houston, TX

Texas dram shop law says alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages she causes or suffers while under the influence. This measure makes sure an offending bar or store is held accountable for its reckless over-service. Moreover, it helps injured victims (including the customers themselves) seek much-needed help as they try to recover after their accidents.

Since dram shop violations are so serious, will the authorities trace the alcohol back to its source in Houston? I hate to say this, but I doubt it. Police don't invest many resources into looking for dram shop violations, despite how important it is to stop that behavior wherever it happens. Not every DWI accident involves a dram violation, of course, but if one is suspected then many victims are better served by working with independent investigators to prove a business broke the law. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, plenty of folks have successfully held bad alcohol vendors accountable for failing to protect public safety.

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