The Carlson Law Firm Attorney files case against local Valero Convenience Store

Attorney Scott Crivelli has filed a lawsuit against a Valero convenience store located in Belton, TX for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person that later caused the death of 20-year-old Brianne Pratt of Salado, Texas, in a tragic car crash.

On December 1, 2013, Michael Soto, 24, of Belton, Texas was driving southbound on FM 1670 in Bell County at a high rate of speed when, due to his intoxicated state, he misjudged a curve in the road. Pratt was driving northbound around the curve at the same time. When Soto misjudged his speed around the curve, his vehicle drifted over the double yellow line into the pathway of the girl’s vehicle. The girl later died at the hospital as a result of the crash. Shortly before the accident, Soto had purchased beer at the Valero convenience store.

The suit is filed on the grounds that the driver was noticeably intoxicated when the gas station sold him alcohol in violation of the state’s Dram Shop statute prohibiting sale of alcohol to intoxicated people. According to court documents, Soto’s blood alcohol content at the time of accident was .218. He has since been convicted and sentenced for his involvement.

“Serving alcohol to drunk people is unacceptable. Period,” said Crivelli. “Whether it be a bar, a grocery store or gas station, when a drunk person comes to buy more you tell them no. Simple as that.”

It is the establishment’s responsibility to hire and train employees regarding selling alcoholic beverages to intoxicated customers.

Pratt’s family asked Crivelli to take this case in hopes the suit bring will bring attention to the problem of alcohol over service, and therefore effecting a change.

“If this suit forces Valero or any other store or bar to change their policies regarding sales of alcohol to intoxicated patrons, then a life may be saved and then Brianne wouldn’t have died in vain,” said Crivelli.


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