Guillermo Castro, Melissa Taylor Injured by Alleged DWI Driver in Houston, TX
Houston, TX -- September 25, 2022, Guillermo Castro and Melissa Taylor were injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 6:05 p.m. along Homestead Road near Little York Road. Preliminary investigation suggests 34-year-old Jamel Humphrey was driving a Dodge Journey south in the northbound lanes of the roadway, against traffic, when he crashed head-on with the victims' northbound Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Castro and Taylor suffered serious injuries in the collision. Humphrey was unhurt.
Investigators suspected Humphrey of driving under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing. Harris County officials later charged him with Intoxication Assault in relation to the accident.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Guillermo Castro, Melissa Taylor Accident in Houston
Something too often overlooked after a drunk driver hurts someone in Texas is where their alcohol came from. Some may not see any urgent reason to learn that, but it's more important than they realize: If the driver drank to excess somewhere before the accident, the business that over-served him may have a legal duty to help the crash victims get back on their feet.
Many folks aren't aware of 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 injuries while under the influence, the business may be considered liable for the harm done.
Any business that had a hand in the victims' injuries should be held accountable for the role it played. I'm not saying for certain that a dram shop violation happened here, but did the authorities even look into it? Little as I like to say it, my guess would be no. Law enforcement doesn't spend much time tracking down negligent over-service from bars, clubs, and restaurants, content instead to punish the drunk drivers it produces.
That's why dram shop matters are most often dealt with by independent investigators. Their careful attention to detail and in-depth analysis may confirm no such violation occurred, but they could also be a step toward getting the victims the help they need and deserve.