Fort Worth police and Texas Alcoholic Bar Commission (TABC) have discovered that a clerk at T. Market allegedly sold alcohol to teen Ivan Torres on the afternoon of the car crash that left him and 15 year-old Jeannette Lopez dead.
Torres is believed to have left Trimble Tech High School during lunch and bought liquor at T. Market and then returned yet again after school ended to purchase even more alcohol. Investigators believe that Torres was drunk when the pickup he was driving ran head-on into another truck on Mitchell Boulevard. Investigators have not suggested that Torres’ passengers deceased Jeannette Lopez and critically injured Bernice Lerma were drinking.
The police launched a sting investigation on Tuesday to identify and arrest the clerk who may have sold alcohol to Torres. The clerk is not just in trouble for selling to minors – he could be responsible for the outcome of the deadly crash due to Texas’ Dram Shop laws.
A dram shop is a name for any place that serves alcohol. Dram shop laws are in place to make certain that bartenders do not serve alcohol to minors or over serve alcohol to adults. If they do, the dram shop laws say that they can be held responsible for the consequences.
In the case of these Trimble Tech High Schoolers, the consequences were dire. The clerk’s alleged decision to wrongfully sell Torres alcohol began the chain of events that ended in two deaths. Dram shop laws can be controversial, but the hope is that they reduce the number of horrific accidents like this one.