Articles Posted in DWI

Crazy Stories Show How Serious Drinking Problem Is Here

Since Texas leads the country in DWI crashes, it’s no surprise that we have a lot of them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But the latest incidents reported just today are truly shocking.

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Darren McFadden – Collin County Sheriff’s Office

1. Ex-Dallas Cowboy Found Asleep at the Wheel

Just after midnight Monday morning, former Dallas Cowboys running back Darrren McFadden, 31, was arrested.

He had fallen asleep in the drive-through lane of a fast food restaurant in McKinney.

No doubt he had too much to drink (or smoke?) watching the NFL championship games all day but the last one had ended four hours before.

You have to wonder how drunk or stoned he had to be at that point. And glad he didn’t crash into other drivers.

You will remember that it was barely a month ago when a Dallas jury awarded $25 million to the family of a Dallas Cowboy killed after another Cowboy who had consumed 17 alcoholic beverages flipped their Mercedes over at 110 miles per hour after leaving a bar.

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Utah first state to take action to make roads safer

Utah just lowered its blood alcohol content limit from .08% to .05% on December 30th — the day before New Years Eve. What a great idea. Obviously, the fewer people who are driving while intoxicated, the safer we will all be.
Utah said it was tired of arresting an average of 29 people a day, or 54,000 people over the last five years, but see people keep drinking and crashing. And that’s in a state that’s 60% Mormon and who are not even allowed to drink any alcohol.

So what should we do in a serious drinking state like Texas?

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Happy New Year

Huge Problem Every Year: New Year’s Eve DWIs

Tonight is one of the most exciting and enjoyable holidays of the year. But some people get overly excited about the possibility of a fresh year. The holiday is synonymous with excessive consumption of alcohol. Starting on the weekend and culminating with New Year’s Eve DWIs are common. With all of the parties and events going on all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area tonight, car accidents causing serious personal injuries will increase.

To counter the increase of people who are driving while intoxicated and under the influence, this is a No Refusal Weekend across North Texas. Police departments will be out in force and will draw blood or take suspected drunks to hospitals, even without their consent. Tarrant County is particularly aggressive in pulling over drivers and prosecuting them for DWIs.

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$25 Million Awarded In DWI Crash

JFK-Memorial-with-Dallas-County-Courthouse-behind-itLate yesterday the jury found that the night club that over-served former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was equally responsible with Brent and awarded a huge verdict of $25 million. Each of the defendants was found to be 48 percent at fault. The Dallas Cowboy who tragically died, Jerry Brown, Jr., was held to be four percent to blame. The money will be paid to Brown’s mother and his estate.

Punitive damages were almost awarded but the verdict must be unanimous and one of the twelve jurors did not vote for the additional award.
The car accident in the early morning hours on December 8, 2012 occurred six minutes after Brent and Brown left Beamers private club after they had been drinking there for several hours. Brent was driving his new Mercedes at a speed of 110 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone when he lost control on Highway 114 in Irving and his car flipped upside down.

Brent’s blood alcohol content was .18%, more than two times the legal limit in Texas. An expert for the plaintiffs testified that a man as large as Brent would have had to have consumed a shocking 17 alcoholic beverages.

Jurors rejected the arguments of the bar and its management company that Brent was intoxicated either before he entered the club or after he left.

The defense produced two servers who testified that Brent did not appear to be obviously intoxicated. However surveillance video showed him ordering three bottles of champagne and drinking from a bottle and serving himself in violation of club rules. At trial on Monday, Brent could not remember how many drinks he had consumed.

The club’s attempt to blame the passenger also failed.

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Funeral

We here in Dallas-Fort Worth have some of the most dangerous roads in the U.S.

This weekend, the news media reported three deadly crashes from Friday night through Saturday night which highlight the constant dangers from bad drivers:

1. East Fort Worth: Two children, six years and 11-months-old, tragically lost their lives Saturday night on East Loop 820 at Craig Street when a speeding pickup truck hydroplaned on the highway and hit their car.

2. South Dallas: A man driving while intoxicated failed to yield the right of way and crashed into another car on East Ledbetter Drive on Saturday at midnight, taking the life of his 23-year-old passenger. The driver was arrested for intoxication manslaughter.

3. East Dallas: A woman walking on Garland Road near East Northwest Highway was struck and killed by a driver who hit-and-ran on Friday night. The driver was found only because her license plate fell off at impact.

Fatal car and truck wrecks are constant here. In Dallas on Wednesday night, a speeding driver in a Porsche 911 sports car lost control, hit another car, and flew off the ramp. He and his passenger flipped and landed below on Central Expressway, killing both. Today, former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent will testify in the case filed against the bar accused of over-serving him before he was in a crash that killed his teammate and best friend.

We at Berenson Injury Law send our sincerest condolences to the families.

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Drunk Customers, Car Crashes, And The Dram Shop Act

Background: Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was driving his teammate and best friend Jerry Brown, Jr. home almost exactly six years ago.  They and other Cowboys had been drinking for hours at a private night club in North Dallas. Brent hit the curb and flipped over his Mercedes in Irving at a speed of 110 miles an hour just a few minutes after leaving the bar. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but the sentence was probated and he only served six months in jail. The deceased’s family filed a Dram Shop lawsuit against the bar in 2013. The case finally goes to trial today in Dallas.

Case: The family has claimed that Beamers Private Club was at fault because it served Brent an excessive amount of alcohol. His blood alcohol level was .18 — more than two times the legal limit. The bar denied liability and filed a cross-claim against Brent, claiming that he was the sole cause of the crash. The jury has to decide if the bar violated the Dram Shop Act by continuing to serve Brent when he was obviously intoxicated.

Questions answered in this post:

  1. What is a Dram Shop lawsuit?
  2. Can a bar or restaurant be held liable for a car or truck collision when a driver is intoxicated?
  3. What laws and court cases control the outcome of the case?
  4. Will these affect the trial of the former Dallas Cowboy?

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Enjoy Family Dinners and Football Games … and Try to Stay Clear of Drunk Drivers 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I thoroughly enjoy sharing a meal with my family and enjoying my blessings. I’m looking forward to seeing my Texas Longhorns win and there are a lot of other great games on this weekend. 

I will also be very careful about when I drive this weekend. 

There’s been a lot of controversy over issues related to the NFL lately. But one issue that isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves is the serious connection between NFL games and DWI’s. For example, there was another driving while intoxicated arrest last week of a NFL player.

The arrest occurred at 6:30 in the evening after Aaron Neary had watched the Rams defeat the Cardinals. A Los Angeles area police department reported receiving numerous calls about a driver who had crashed into a bus stop sign, trash cans, and mailboxes. Police pulled over Neary. His Breathalyzer test showed that he had a blood alcohol level of .17% — more than twice the legal limit there and in Texas. Police arrested Neary for driving while intoxicated and causing property damage.

At least no one was hurt. But if he had hit another vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian, the outcome could have been far worse and even fatal. Often drunk drivers don’t realize they are driving in a school zone or at another pedestrian crossing. People who drive at this high level of intoxication put everyone at risk.

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Fort Worth car collisions have surged due to overly tired drivers

We all know that we have too many collisions in Fort Worth. While everyone will agree that intoxicated drivers must be stopped, not many people understand that tired drivers are just as dangerous.

Driving while exhausted (DWE) is far more common than driving while intoxicated (DWI), but you rarely hear about it. We need to publicize this forgotten cause of crashes so they can be stopped.

Just two days ago in Fort Worth, an overly tired driver caused a horrible wreck here two days ago. A man fell asleep at 3:00 p.m. while he was driving on Interstate 35 in far north Fort Worth. This caused him to crash his vehicle into the guard rail and tragically take the life of his passenger, 25-year-old Sarah Million.

You might wonder how someone can fall asleep in the middle of the day and still be driving a car or truck, right? But a whopping 32% of people have admitted that they had driven at least one time in the last month when they could barely keep their eyes open.

62% of drivers admit to regularly driving when they are too tired to do so safely. Many people are chronically sleep-deprived. Some thrive on how far they can push themselves and how long they can stay up.

Over 100,000 car collisions are caused by overly tired drivers each year in our country. They took the lives of over 5,000 people — and this is just in reported cases where the police can determine the cause of death, which is obviously impossible a one car crash. And that doesn’t begin to account for the hundreds of thousands of injuries, not to mention near-misses.

If the Fort Worth driver was that tired, he should have pulled over, bought a Coke or cup of coffee, let the passenger drive, or better yet, stayed home and taken a nap. Driving is not an automatic right that a person can exercise if he or she is too tired or impaired. DWE isn’t illegal but it has the same effect as DWI. A crash is a crash.

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