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Drunken driver sues restaurant for selling him alcohol

By Mason White 6:42 PM March 11, 2013
James Ruiz 

By: John Roberts
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested and charged with drunk driving related charges after he killed 2 while driving drunk, according to court proceedings in New Mexico.

Now, the New Mexico man who was driving drunk, killing two sisters, is suing the restaurant that served the alcohol as well as a friend who allowed him into his car after drinking.

James Ruiz, whose drunken accident caused the death of Del Lynn Peshlakai, 19, and her sister Deshauna, 17, in the south of Santa Fe, went to court on Friday to seek damages from Applebee’s, The Blue Corn Cafe, and his friend, Gilbert Mendoza.

Ruiz said that as a result of the accident and its after effects he suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress.
Ruiz blamed the negligence on the restaurants and Mendoza, who was a cause and contributing factor of his severe emotional distress, the lawsuit said.

The 37-year-old is a repeat drunk driver who has five previous DWI arrests on his record and was released on bail when the accident occurred.
Ruiz is serving a 40-year sentence after pleading guilty and filed the lawsuit without an attorney.

Applebee’s knew that he was a habitual alcoholic. He was was obviously intoxicated when he and Mendoza appeared on the night of the accident. After drinking more at the Blue Corn Cafe, he left without paying and Mendoza gave Ruiz the keys to the car, the lawsuit states.

Ruiz said that the restaurants violated state law when they served him alcohol despite obviously being drunk.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view