• November 17, 2022

John Gilpin Injured in Car Accident on I-35 Service Rd in Austin, TX

Austin, TX — October 28, 2022, 23-year-old John Gilpin was injured in a car accident on the Interstate 35 service road in Austin.

Authorities say the incident occurred around midnight on the I-35 service road near Farm to Market Road 1327. Preliminary investigation suggests Gilpin was a passenger in a Volkswagen sedan traveling south on the service road, partially on the shoulder. The VW soon crashed into the back of a Hyundai sedan that was parked fully on the shoulder, pushing it further into the grass. The VW overturned and slid a short distance before coming to rest.

Gilpin was ejected during the rollover and suffered serious injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Police suspected the VW driver had been drinking alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on John Gilpin Accident in Austin

People tend to see suspected DWI accidents like this and quickly pin all the blame on the alleged drunk drivers. "It was their decision," the argument goes, "so who else would even be responsible for that?" Well, under Texas dram shop law a business that helped him get too intoxicated to drive safely might actually have a share of the responsibility for the damage he caused to his passenger.

Under dram shop law, licensed alcohol vendors like bars and restaurants are required to cut customers off if they're obviously intoxicated. Continuing to serve them alcohol after that is illegal, yet many businesses prioritize a few more bucks over public safety and keep serving up drinks. When that happens and their over-intoxicated customers hurt themselves or others, dram shop may hold that business accountable for its part.

John Gilpin Injured in Car Accident on I-35 Service Rd in Austin, TX

To be clear, intoxication is only suspected here--not proven. Moreover, even if blood tests confirm alcohol was a factor that doesn't mean a bad bar over-served the driver. I'm only saying the investigation should include the alcohol's source in case a local business should stop endangering its customers and community. If the injured passenger can get some help with his recovery in the process, that's all the more reason to take the needed steps.

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