• October 14, 2022

James Dukes Injured in Auto Accident on FM 306 in Comal County, TX

Comal County, TX — September 28, 2022, 20-year-old James Dukes was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on FM 306 in Comal County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 10:00 p.m. on FM 306 near U.S. Highway 281. Preliminary investigation suggests Dukes was driving a Chevrolet Silverado west on the road when he lost control for unconfirmed reasons. The truck ran off the road to the left and rolled over.

Dukes suffered serious injuries in the wreck. Investigators believe he was intoxicated; when interviewed, a friend told them they were at a social gathering where Dukes drank an unknown quantity of alcohol that night. Blood tests were ordered as part of a DWI investigation.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on James Dukes Accident in Comal County

It may be that there's little else to add to the "consequences" portion of this accident beyond the victim's serious injuries and any charges coming his way, but during the investigation one detail to clarify is exactly where the alleged social gathering took place. Why? Because depending on where an underage person was given alcohol, someone else may deserve consequences for their part in his injuries.

Most people know that with just a few exceptions providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21 is illegal. Unless the victim went to a party with his parents and they were the only ones to hand him a beer all night, most likely someone may be in trouble simply for giving him alcohol at all. However, if the party or gathering was held at an alcohol-serving business like a bar or restaurant and the staff there served the victim's drinks, that business may have much stronger consequences coming its way. Licensed vendors should (and do) know better than to serve underage parties, yet either through carelessness or ineptitude many end up doing so anyway. In those instances the business should be held accountable for breaking the law.

James Dukes Injured in Auto Accident on FM 306 in Comal County, TX

That might not be the only way they did so, however: Under dram shop law a licensed vendor that sells or serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person may also be responsible for injuries that person causes--even to himself--while intoxicated. In other words, if a bar helped that young man get too drunk to control his vehicle then it may have a duty to help him get back on his feet.

I'm not claiming to know exactly what happened out there; I read the same reports as anyone else and they're rarely if ever thorough enough to provide all the answers. If a local business is getting a little too casual about not checking ID's or its bartenders happily refilled the victim's glass past the point of no return, though, then those are both issues that should be quickly addressed. If the victim can get some help with his injuries in the process, even better.

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