The criminal trial of former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Josh Brent continues. Now in its second day, the focus is on how much alcohol Brent consumed before the crash that killed his best friend, Jerry Brown. Charged with intoxication manslaughter for his part in the fatal crash, Bren claims that his civil rights were violated during the required blood draw that occurred after his arrest.
Jurors heard recordings of Brent in which he expressed frustration with being taken to a local hospital to have his blood drawn. His attorneys also claim that their client did not consume as much alcohol as claimed by prosecutors, and are challenging the reported BAC. The blood draw revealed that Brent’s alcohol level was .18 (the legal limit is .08) and evidence introduced yesterday showed that Brent and others in his group of friends purchased a bevy of liquor, including three bottles of champagne, five glasses of wine, two shots of cognac and eight shots of Tuaca.
The evidence detailing Brent’s alleged alcohol consumption is critical to proving all the elements in his criminal proceedings, but it also has implications in a possible civil (wrongful death) trial. The evidence regarding alcohol use could be seen as a breach of the duty to use reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle in Texas. It is reasonable to conclude that the breach led to the injuries that caused Brown’s death. As such, Brent could be held civilly liable for Brown’s demise.
In the meantime, Brent’s criminal trial will continue. It remains to be seen whether a wrongful death suit will be launched.
Source: DallasNews.com, “Former Cowboy Josh Brent claimed is rights were violated during blood draw,” Tasha Tsiaperas, January 14, 2014