James Araujo Injured in Car Accident on TX-71 in Austin
Austin, TX — July 1, 2022, 25-year-old James Araujo was seriously injured in a car accident on State Highway 71 in Austin.
According to reports the incident happened around 8:10 p.m. on Highway 71 near East Riverside Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Araujo was driving a Nissan Juke east on the highway when he said he swerved to avoid stopped or slowed traffic ahead. The Nissan then crashed into a nearby Lexus ES driven by 59-year-old Terrence Conner. After the impact the Nissan overturned and rolled several times.
Araujo suffered serious injuries in the crash. Conner reportedly received minor injuries.
Investigators believe Araujo was under the influence of alcohol. He reportedly refused to provide samples for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on James Araujo Accident in Austin
Police think the victim was impaired by alcohol when he crashed, but he apparently wasn't too cooperative when they tried to verify that. Usually when that happens investigators get a warrant, but one way or another they usually get what they need to find out if they're right.
If evidence shows alcohol was a factor as suspected, the driver may face some legal consequences. Some may think that's basically the end of the matter, but investigators shouldn't stop there. Instead, they should also look into where his drinks came from. But why is that important?
Texas dram shop law says that licensed alcohol providers like bars, restaurants, or liquor stores may not serve or sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do, the law may consider them liable for injuries those customers cause--even to themselves--while under the influence. That means any business that over-served the driver in Austin may now have a duty to help him after the wreck.
To be clear, though, right now alcohol is only an unproven theory. Even if evidence confirms it there may not be a negligent bar to find; not every DWI case involves a dram shop violation. It's just important to know for sure one way or the other when alcohol consumption may be directly tied to injuries. If the search for answers finds a way to help an injured man, that's even better.