Alcohol plays a role in many traffic accidents by affecting the perceptions and reaction times of drivers. When police say that alcohol was a “factor” in causing an accident, they usually mean that one or both of the drivers was intoxicated and that the intoxication interfered with the ability of at least one of the drivers to maintain control of the vehicle and that loss of control led to the accident. A recent collision in San Antonio demonstrates how these factors can combine to cause both loss of life and serious injury.

At about 9:30 p.m. on April 1, 2020, a car was heading east on 24th Avenue near the Ross Rogers Golf Course. At the same time, an SUV was heading west on 24th. The SUV driver signaled a left turn as she attempted to turn into northbound Jefferson, but she failed to yield the right-of-way to the non-turning vehicle. When the driver of the SUV failed to yield the right-of-way, she was struck by the eastbound automobile.

The driver of the eastbound car was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Two passengers in her car, a 44-year-old woman and a one-year old infant, were also taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The woman later died from her injuries, but the baby’s condition has not been updated. The SUV driver suffered undisclosed injuries, but she was arrested and taken to Potter County Detention Center, where she was charged with intoxicated manslaughter, intoxicated assault and injury to a child.

The defendant in this case is facing serious criminal charges. She is of course entitled to be presumed innocent of all charges unless and until she is convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing similar charges would be unwise to rely entirely on the presumption of innocence. An experienced criminal defense attorney could provide a helpful evaluation of the evidence and perhaps assist in negotiating a favorable plea agreement.