In Texas, You Can Face Criminal Charges for Buying a Woman a Drink

It's no secret that the gentleman buying you tons of free drinks doesn't give a crap about your health, safety, or even how much you like drinking. He's just making a calculated investment, figuring that you're more likely to have sex with him after you have $30 worth of vodka punch in you, which is cheaper than paying for a hooker.

But what if a lady simply takes his free drinks and then ditches him -- is he responsible for making sure that she'll get home safely? Social rules dictate, "Yes, that's the gentlemanly thing to do." Legally, that's a tougher case to make, but that's exactly what prosecutors near Houston are trying to do.

Last year Nicole Nadra Baukus drove her pickup truck the wrong way down Interstate 45 in Montgomery County outside Houston and killed two teenagers, Nicole Adams and Travis Ryan Saunders. During the trial she claimed that a guy at the bar slipped drugs into her drink before changing her story and admitting she'd downed more than 20 drinks at a local bar before getting behind the wheel. A jury just sentenced her to 38 years in prison.

Now, prosecutors and the TABC are turning their attention to the man who plied her with at least some of that booze.

"We could see him giving her drinks in the video but nobody would identify him," Warren Diepraam, an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery Couny, told the Houston Chronicle. "It was only during the trial when witnesses started testifying (that we learned his name)."

The man is Kambiz Michael Duran, heretofore most famous for allegedly burning down his house in an attempt to make liquid marijuana.

Duran is now facing criminal charges for buying Baukus drinks. Most times, drink-supplying prosecutions are carried out under the state's "dram shop laws," which make bars and servers liable for selling alcohol to clearly drunk people. Because Duran wasn't a bartender, Diepraam says Montgomery County is going after him based on the "law of parties," which holds a person criminally responsible for aiding or abetting a murderer.

This raises an obvious question: Why don't they just use the Dram Shop Laws that already exist for this type of case and prosecute the bartender, not the poor sucker who was participating in an age-old mating ritual?

That bar, the On the Rox Sports Bar and Grill, agreed to settle the case and paid $1 million to David Francisco Porras and the estates of the victims.

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Amy Martyn
Contact: Amy Martyn