HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It’s was one year ago today when 20-year-old Veronica Rivas got behind the wheel while intoxicated and crashed into another car, killing a mother and her 3-month-old infant. Today, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office along with the Vehicular Crimes After Hours Task Force held a press conference to announce the results of their work over.
Houston is known for its vibrant restaurants and bar life, but the DA’s Office, the task force, and other law enforcement agencies are saying they are also cracking down of those establishments that are serving alcohol irresponsibly.
In the Veronica Rivas case, the 20-year-old was served vast amounts of alcohol at a bar. Although underage at the time, two men were buying her drinks that night. Rivas was charged with 2 counts of intoxication manslaughter for killing the mother and her infant during the car crash. The two men and a bartender at the establishment were also charged.
This case became a model for how law enforcement is working backwards after a drunk driving incident, to link to the bar or restaurant they may have come from. To date, 59 charges have been filed and five establishments have either been permanently or temporarily closed.
“We have held those people accountable either civilly, criminally, or both," sats Sean Tare, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division. "So that’s what this is about, and to tell all of the servers, and all of the bartenders out there who want to put profit over safety that we are going to ramp up our efforts even more over the next year.“
Other states are starting to model after what we are doing here in Harris County. The DA’s Office is also encouraging the public to help in their efforts. You can submit a complaint via email at:
Or you can call 713-274-1500