A Bethlehem man was arrested in the early hours of Sunday, January 27 after allegedly causing an accident while driving drunk and fleeing from the scene.
According to the authorities, an officer attempted to pull over a vehicle being driven by 23-year-old Hector L. Rivera Jr. at around 1 a.m. on January 27. Rivera allegedly sped away from the officer and swerved through traffic. Court records say he drove through red lights at the intersections of Broadway and Route 378 and Broadway and East Fourth Street. Finally, he allegedly drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Broadway and Brodhead Street and crashed into a Toyota Corolla.
Two people in the Corolla and one passenger in Rivera’s vehicle were injured in the crash, although there is no information on the severity of those injuries. Rivera allegedly abandoned his vehicle following the crash and was eventually caught by the police after a short foot chase. Officers say that they found marijuana and an open liquor container in his vehicle.
Rivera has been charged with a felony count of fleeing and eluding and seven summary traffic offenses, along with three counts of accidents involving injury while not licensed, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent represents victims of alcohol-related accidents, helping them and their families recover the financial compensation they deserve in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to share some info on the legal options available to these victims and families in Pennsylvania:
When an intoxicated person causes an accident and others are injured, the victims often may have grounds to file a lawsuit against that intoxicated person. Additionally, Pennsylvania and many other states have “dram shop” laws, which, depending on circumstances, may allow these victims to also file lawsuits against the alcohol vendor who provided alcohol to the person who caused the accident. In Pennsylvania, social hosts can also be held liable if they provided alcohol to a minor who caused an alcohol-related accident.
According to Pennsylvania’s dram shop laws, alcohol vendors can be held liable for drunk driving accidents if they provided alcohol to someone who was “visibly intoxicated” and that person went on to cause an alcohol-related accident because of their intoxication. The PA Liquor Code also recognizes that violations of the liquor code constitute “negligence per se” – which means that any violation of the liquor code could provide grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against an alcohol vendor.
Have you or a loved one been hit by a drunk driver? Our experienced DUI accident victim attorneys want to help your family get the financial support you need and deserve. You can learn more about your family’s legal options by contacting one of our experienced DUI victims attorneys for a free consultation.