• May 01, 2017

Austin, TX: Kris Anthony Lugo Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident

Austin, TX -- A single-vehicle crash in Austin, Texas claimed the life of 29-year-old Kris Anthony Lugo Saturday, April 28, 2017.

The victim's vehicle was traveling near 4400 East William Cannon Drive around 3:52 p.m. when for unknown reasons it lost control. The vehicle reportedly rolled over, killing the man at the scene of the incident.

It appeared at the time of the report that Mr. Lugo was the only person hurt in the incident. Three others were alleged to be occupants of the vehicle, but apparently refused treatment.

It's unclear at this time what caused the crash that claimed the young man's life, however, updated news reports say police believe alcohol was a factor.

The investigation is ongoing.

map of the area

Commentary

Police have yet to confirm whether or not alcohol was indeed involved in this accident, and given the time at which the accident happened, it's not all that likely he was coming from a bar. Unlikely, but not impossible. On top of that, bars are not the only entities that can be held accountable under liquor liability laws.

In Texas, dram shop law simply states that a licensed alcohol vendor which over-serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer can be held liable for damages resulting from that person's intoxication. This means a liquor store, restaurant, ball park, race track, bar, or any other person who sells alcohol to someone who is drunk enough that they present a danger to themselves and the general public, they're breaking the law.

Now some people read this and think, "How is it reasonable that a someone can be punished for a drunk driver's actions? Doesn't that take responsibility away from the driver?" This isn't actually the case. Think of it this way. If a customer walks into a bar or a liquor store practically falling over due to intoxication, would a reasonable person give them more alcohol? Of course not. A reasonable person would kick them out immediately. Dram shop law exists for those businesses who ignore this and serve those customers regardless of their condition. Did they put those people behind the wheel of a car? Not exactly, but they certainly gave them the tools to go out and cause harm to themselves or others. And that's the problem.

Again, I want to emphasize that I don't know exactly what occurred in this accident, and it's not even clear that alcohol was a factor in the first place. That being said, if police suspect it could be a factor, then there needs to be a thorough investigation to determine where the victim had been drinking. Put simply, an alcohol vendor that over-serves its customers is breaking the law. The point here is that if there's a business which violated the rules which our community agreed upon, those actions must have consequences. Just as people expect drunk drivers to face justice for violating the law, so too should businesses who do the same.

--Grossman Law Offices

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