• May 08, 2017

Barbara Martinez Killed, Denys Martinez Injured in San Antonio, TX, Possible DWI Accident

San Antonio, TX -- May 7, 2017, Barbara Martinez was killed, Denys Martinez was injured in an accident where a possible drunk driver caused an accident.

The San Antonio Police Department responded to the accident scene at around 2:30 a.m. at the intersection of Bandera Road and Evers Road.

Their preliminary investigations indicated that 27-year-old Denys Martinez, was driving a Mercedes along westbound Bandera. As he approached Evers, he reportedly blew through a red light and crossed into the path of an SUV on Evers. This resulted in a severe collision.

Officials reported that the woman driving the SUV, 60-year-old Barbara Martinez, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Denys Martinez was transported to University Hospital in critical condition.

Police say they suspect alcohol was a factor in the accident, but no charges have been reported at this time. Investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Looking at the details surrounding this accident, I would not be surprised in the least if alcohol was indeed a factor. I can't say for sure that it was without seeing a more thorough investigation, but experience tells me intoxication is certainly likely. Our firm has handled more drunk driving accidents the almost any other firm in the state, and it's very rare that an accident at 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday, where a driver is speeding and runs a red light, doesn't involve alcohol.

The fact of the matter is that the late and early hours of Friday through Sunday are the most dangerous hours in terms of drunk driving accidents. The reason for this is because many people are going out on the weekends to bars, getting drunk, and then driving home. The fact that this accident happened at 2:30 a.m. means it's likely the driver was returning home from a bar, since they close at 2:00 a.m. The reason this is important is because this means there's a possible 3rd party involved here that needs to be investigated.

In Texas, dram shop law 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. What this basically means is that if a bar over-serves alcohol to a customer who displays a clear and present danger to themselves or others is breaking the law.

Now when some people see these kinds of law suits, they assume it's about shifting responsibility away from the drunk driver and punishing a bar for simply doing business. What those people don't realize is that the majority of dram shop cases we've seen weren't someone drinking a beer or two, crashing into a pole, and suing a bar. The vast majority of them were a driver who was served upwards of ten drinks--clearly enough for them to be significantly intoxicated--and then went out and caused a serious accident which seriously hurt or killed people.

In these scenarios, the drunk driver still gets their time in a criminal court to answer for their actions. Civil law seeks to recognize that alcohol vendors have a responsibility not to give people the tools for causing these accidents. It's not reasonable for a store clerk to sell liquor to a sober person who then gets drunk at home and causes an accident, but it's entirely reasonable that a bartender refuses to serve someone stumbling up to the bar glassy-eyed and slurring their words.

Now again, I'm not saying that any of this happened in this particular accident, but the details suggest to me it's a strong possibility. It warrants further investigation not only to determine if the driver was intoxicated, but, if he was, to also investigate to determine if he was at a bar beforehand. Like I said before, over-serving an obviously intoxicated customer is illegal. Period, end of story. Such actions must be addressed so that those doing wrong are held accountable for their actions and those affected by the accident get justice for their loss.

--Grossman Law Offices

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