Jillian Milam, a 19-year-old from Odessa, has been charged with Intoxication Assault after injuring one person in a drunk driving crash. According to court documents, it happened just before midnight on March 1, 2023 near the intersection of State Highway 385 and E. Antigua Drive. Investigators said that Milam was found behind the wheel and reportedly slurring her words and smelled of alcohol. She admitted to drinking prior to driving and a series of field sobriety tests, which she failed, led to her arrest. She was arrested and taken to Ector County Law Enforcement Center where she was charged with Intoxication Assault and later released on a $7,500 bond. No information has been provided on the condition of the injured party.
Drunk driving crashes are typically serious accidents that may involve an injury or death. While we don’t yet know the medical condition of the injured party in this accident, there are always a number of troubling factors involved in a drunk driving wreck. One of the more troubling aspects of this case is that someone was responsible for providing alcohol to an underage person. I am certain police will perform an investigation to determine if it was consumed at a home party the drunk driver attended, or if it was supplied by a state licensed provider. If it was at a licensed provider, we have what is referred to as the Dram Shop Act that allows victims to sue a bar, restaurant, club, store, or other alcohol provider who overserves a patron who then goes on to injure or kill themself or others. If an establishment was involved in this case, a person need only sue because the alcohol provider is automatically considered responsible under this law because the person they served was underage. In some cases, a person hosting an event at their home or other premise could also be liable when someone is injured or killed, but not under the Dram Shop Act. They might be sued through a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death cause of action. The Plaintiff would need to show that the host owed them a duty of care that they failed to provide, which led to the injury or death of a person(s). Plaintiffs who are successful in these types of claims generally receive compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, physical impairments and property damage. If a wrongful death suit is involved, it might allow the estate of the deceased to collect the above on behalf of their loved one, but could also include loss of companionship, lost earnings and & inheritance, pain, suffering, & emotional distress, and in cases of gross negligence – exemplary damages if the cause involves a willful act or omission on the part of the Defendant (gross negligence).