• May 23, 2022

Andrea Balderas-Garcia Killed by Alleged DWI Driver on Bellaire Blvd in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- May 22, 2022, motorist Andrea Balderas-Garcia was killed in a crash with an alleged DWI driver along Bellaire Boulevard in Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:35 a.m. along westbound Bellaire. According to reports storms in the area may have caused several traffic-control lights to go out around that time. Police got a call about a GMC Yukon headed west on Bellaire when the driver ran through several lights; it's unclear if any were active at the time. The Yukon then crashed into a Ford Explorer that was headed south on Ranchester Drive.

Balderas-Garcia, operating the southbound Ford on Ranchester, suffered fatal injuries in the accident. The Yukon driver, later identified as 22-year-old Luis Avalos Avila, was arrested and ultimately charged with intoxication manslaughter.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Andrea Balderas-Garcia Accident on Bellaire Blvd in Houston

The suspect in this crash reportedly faces some very serious charges, but even as much as my heart goes out to the victim's loved ones I generally believe it isn't my place to preach about drunk driving or lecture people suspected of intoxication. Their alleged crimes and the related consequences are a matter for the courts and the suspect will have his day in one to answer for his choices that night.

Rather than speculate about his fate in court, I consider it more important to talk about what can be done for those harmed by such crashes--in this case, the family of the person whose life was cut short. If intoxication really had a role in what happened, they should be aware of Texas dram shop law.

Andrea Balderas-Garcia Killed by Alleged DWI Driver on Bellaire Blvd in Houston, TX

Essentially dram shop law says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages that person causes while intoxicated. That means bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other establishments can be held legally accountable when they keep selling drinks to customers who go on to cause accidents like this one. Not only does dram shop law help victims and families get back on their feet after such terrible experiences, it's also a way to punish negligent alcohol providers and keep them from putting communities in danger.

Despite the importance of dram shop claims for keeping reckless bars in check, though, police rarely look into whether they broke dram shop law. Why? Because law enforcement prioritizes punishing specific suspects over helping victims and families. That's why it's often necessary to have independent investigators look into these accidents rather than waiting for police to sort things out.

For the sake of those affected by this crash, the sooner someone looks into what led to it the sooner there can be some useful answers. Any further steps would largely depend on what those answers turn out to be.

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