• January 30, 2017

Alexis Almanza Killed, Ryan McLaughlin Injured in Alleged DUI Accident on Eastex Freeway in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- A suspected DUI Accident in the area of Houston, TX left Alexis Almanza dead, and Ryan McLaughlin injured Saturday, January 28, 2017.

The incident took place about 2 a.m. on the Eastex Freeway.

The report claims pickup truck headed south ran through a red light, colliding with a Chevy Trailblazer. The female passenger in the Chevy, Alexis Almanza, was killed at the scene of the incident. The driver of the pickup, Ryan McLaughlin was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The cause of the incident is unclear, but police say they believe alcohol was a factor.

Police officials claim 31-year-old Ryan McLaughlin was four times the legal intoxication limit.

map of the area


Early reports seem to be pointing the finger for this accident at the alleged drunk driver. I certainly believe that everyone deserves their day in court, but going off the details provided, it's hard to quibble with the news accounts. You have a person reported to be four times over the legal limit of intoxication, leaving a tidal wave of misery in his wake. But, one detail that stands out most to me is the fact that the incident took place about 2 a.m. This is a huge red flag for me because, as some may know, that's about the time most bars turn off the t.v.'s, lock the doors, and add up the tabs. That alerts me to the possibility this guy was headed home after a night out at the bar.

This isn't just some wild notion. The fact is, there are statistics to back it up. The Texas Department of Transportation show that a large plurality of fatal alcohol related crashes occur between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. This, unsurprisingly, happens to be right around the time most bars in Texas have called last call. You don't need a Ph.D to know this is not just a coincidence.

The statistics illustrate how serious the issue of drunk driving is in the state of Texas. It's this issue that prompted the passage of what is known as dram shop law. This gives victims the chance to file claims against businesses that irresponsibly serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons.

Dram shop law is not without controversy. While holding bars accountable for breaking their pledge not to serve drunks may seem unfair to some, the sale of alcohol is heavily regulated. Why else would an establishment be required by the state to be licensed to sell the stuff? And, like other privileges where one needs a license, there are rules and regulations involved.

Whenever a driver decides they are okay to take to the road while intoxicated, they have broken the law. The same is true for bars that over-serve. Drunk drivers are held to account for breaking the law. It certainly looks like charges are forthcoming against the driver for his irresponsible behavior. Should illegally serving drunks be the only crime in America where the criminal is allowed to make money by breaking the law? Lawmakers in Austin don't think so and neither do we.

--Grossman Law Offices


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