Joshua Sipes Injured in Car Accident on Butera Road in Montgomery County, TX
Montgomery County, TX -- May 4, 2022, 34-year-old Joshua Sipes was injured in a traffic accident on Butera Road in Montgomery County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:25 a.m. on Butera near Dogwood Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests Sipes was driving a Kia Soul east on Butera and approached a right-hand curve, possibly at unsafe speeds. According to reports the didn't negotiate the curve correctly and crossed into the road's westbound lane, where he crashed into the front-left of a Ford F-150 pickup. After the impact both vehicles left the road to the north and came to rest in the grass beyond.
Sipes suffered serious injuries in the collision. The Ford driver reportedly sustained minor injuries.
Investigators suspected Sipes was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Blood samples were collected for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joshua Sipes Accident in Montgomery County
UPDATE (June 29, 2022): Later reports indicate the seriously-injured crash victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .178 at the time of the crash. I don't say that in judgment, but confirmation that he was significantly over the legal limit for intoxication may add some steps to the investigation.
As I mentioned before, Texas dram shop law holds businesses that over-serve alcohol responsible for the damage their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. Not every DWI crash involves a dram violation, but finding out where the drinks came from is an important and often-neglected step when helping the victim get back on his feet.
Unfortunately, dram violations generally get little attention from police. If one is suspected then it's usually best for those affected to get help from independent investigators who know how to get the necessary proof. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, social media activity, and other evidence, many people hurt by reckless over-service have held bad businesses accountable for breaking the law and contributing to their injuries.
It's obviously serious any time police say alcohol was a factor, but I'm not here preach about the perils of drunk driving or wag a judgmental finger. It's far more helpful to look at ways to help the people hurt by these wrecks--even when the victims are the alleged DWI drivers themselves. When determining what can be done for them, one important detail to clarify is where their alcohol came from. But why does that matter? Because of Texas dram shop law.
In a nutshell, dram shop law says that an alcohol provider (bar, restaurant, club, store, etc) that over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages caused by their intoxication. If someone drank at a bar, for example, investigators could learn that its staff continued to serve him even though it was clear he was past his limits. If they over-served that obviously intoxicated customer and he suffered injuries while under the influence, dram shop law allows him to hold the business accountable for its contribution to his accident and injuries.
Blood tests have yet to conclusively say whether or not this was really a DWI accident, but if they're right then the alcohol provider should also be identified. Unfortunately police are rarely thorough enough to say who served the drinks. It's an important point to clarify after a crash like this one to ensure the right parties are held accountable. If businesses are never taken to task for reckless over-service, they'll never see a need to change their ways and will keep putting the public at risk.