Jonatan Santos Injured by Alleged DWI Driver in Harris County, TX
Baytown, TX -- May 15, 2022, 22-year-old Jonatan Santos was injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:20 a.m. on the Interstate 10 service road at Thompson Road. Preliminary investigation suggests 33-year-old Luis Sanmiguel was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck south on Thompson as a Mitsubishi Eclipse was northbound on the other side of the I-10 service road.
According to reports the Eclipse driver turned left at the light. Sanmiguel allegedly ran the red southbound light and crashed into the car's passenger side.
Santos, a passenger in the Mitsubishi, suffered serious injuries. The car's driver received possible injuries. None of the Chevy's four occupants were hurt.
Investigators suspected Sanmiguel was under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples. He was later charged by the county with Intoxication Assault.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Jonatan Santos Accident in Harris County
A common mistake I see in these kinds of situations is thinking there's little more to say. Even with just the few established details some may feel the key points were addressed: Someone hurt the victim while possibly intoxicated and he now faces criminal charges, so what else is there to know? To make sure justice is properly done and the victim gets the help he deserves, probably quite a bit.
One detail that too often goes overlooked after a DWI driver hurts someone in Texas is where their alcohol came from. Some probably don't see a reason to learn that, but it's actually far more important than it seems. Depending on where the driver drank before the accident, the victim may have the right to seek help from the business that sold the drinks.
Many folks aren't aware of Texas dram shop law or how it can help in a situation like this. In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors (bars, restaurants, liquor and convenience stores, etc) from selling or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do so illegally and their customers go on to cause or suffer injuries while under the influence, the business that provided too much to drink may be considered liable for the harm done.
I'm not saying I know a dram violation happened here, but did the authorities even look into it? Little as I like saying it, my guess would be no. Law enforcement doesn't spend much time tracking down that negligent over-service, content just to catch and punish its byproducts. That's why dram shop matters are most often dealt with by independent investigators. Their careful attention to detail might find no violation occurred, but it could also be a step toward helping the victim get back on his feet.