After an underage Harris County man was served a dozen drinks at an unlicensed South Houston bar, the drunken patron got behind the wheel of his car and killed a baby and a young mother. Now, four bartenders and their manager have been arrested in the case.
The bartenders of the establishment in the 12000 block of Houston Boulevard face charges of making alcoholic beverages available to a minor. The manager was arrested on a charge of possessing an unauthorized beverage-retailer. All are Class A misdemeanor liquor violations.
Although the bar had a license to sell wine and beer, it lacked the proper state license to sell other liquor.
Both the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) were involved in the investigation of the Frontera Events Venue’s employees.
According to prosecutors, there was video footage taken inside the bar showing the 19-year-old driver having a dozen drinks at the bar. Three of those drinks were tequila shots that the teen drank along with three of the bartenders. The patron then left the bar, climbed into his truck and left.
Police reports indicate that the drunk driver drove across three opposite traffic lanes before striking an SUV driven by a 23-year-old woman. In the car were her one-year-old son and her mother. The driver and baby were killed in the collision.
The drunk driver, who was charged with intoxication manslaughter, allegedly admitted to consuming alcohol. According to court documents, a fake ID card was recovered in the wreckage.
Criminal charges and convictions may bolster any civil action that victims or surviving loved ones take against a drunk driver. However, to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit, it is not necessary for the defendant to face criminal charges.