• April 25, 2022

Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on US-385 in Andrews County, TX

Andrews County, TX -- October 29, 2021, a 34-year-old man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 385 in Andrews County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:10 a.m. on US-385 near County Road 8000. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a Ford F-250 pickup south on the highway when he traveled off the road at the CR 8000 intersection. The pickup entered the center median and hit the cable barrier, knocking down 8 support poles becore veering back through the roadway to the west. It exited again and ran into the west ditch, traveling south another 100+ feet before hitting a small tree and overturning. It rolled at least once before coming to rest upright in the ditch.

The driver suffered serious injuries in the crash. When interviewed by officers he admitted to drinking alcohol earlier that evening, but due to the severity of his injuries further testing wasn't conducted. Police instead noted a plan to subpoena his hospital treatment records.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Patricia Mims Accident on Holmes Rd in Houston

Given the circumstances of this crash and the driver's reported confession of drinking beforehand, it seems reasonable that impairment is considered a possible factor. Treatment records should offer some insight into how much of a role it played. That isn't really something for me to remark upon, nor are any potential consequences he might face if he was driving drunk. That's between him and the courts.

Some might consider that essentially the end of the matter, but that's not necessarily true. After many alcohol-related crashes Texas dram shop law holds alcohol providers accountable for negligent over-service, meaning they continued to sell or serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they did, they may be liable for any injuries those customers caused or suffered while excessively impaired.

Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on US-385 in Andrews County, TX

Not every DWI accident involves a dram shop violation. For instance, if the suspect drank at home or bought alcohol while sober and then drank it on the road, it's not likely that a business could be held liable for his injuries. Even if that's ultimately found to be the case, though, it's worth knowing for sure one way or the other any time alcohol consumption may be a direct factor in an accident.

So will the authorities learn the source of the victim's alleged drinks? Unfortunately I doubt they'll put a lot of effort into it. Police don't often check into possible dram shop violations despite how important it is to identify and stop that reckless behavior. Victims of drunk driving accidents, even the injured drivers themselves, are often best served by independent investigations to get the evidence needed to hold such a negligent business responsible.

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