Rainbow Lounge bartender's blood alcohol was over 3 times limit at time of deadly crash

Posted on 29 Sep 2009 at 1:43pm
Brad Larsen
Brad Larsen

FORT WORTH — Bradley Larsen, the Rainbow Lounge bartender killed in a car wreck July 26, had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to toxicology results released earlier today by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Larsen’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.254. The legal limit is 0.08.

Larsen’s toxicology results also came back positive for cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. The Medical Examiner’s report lists Larsen’s primary cause of death as blunt-force head trauma.

“He was under the influence, yes, very much so,” said Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner’s Office. “It would be a contributing factor because it would impair his ability to react to certain things.”

Larsen was traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph on eastbound Interstate 30 in Arlington when he rear-ended an 18-wheeler at about 6:15 a.m. that Sunday, according to police reports.

Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said today the agency is now conducting a full-scale “source investigation” to try to determine where Larsen consumed the alcohol in his system, and whether it was obtained illegally.

Beck has said previously that if it’s determined that Larsen, who’d worked the night before, had been drinking at the Rainbow Lounge after hours — which is illegal — it could mean serious penalties for the bar under its liquor license.

“As soon as it [the wreck] happened, they started fact-finding, interviewing witnesses and things like that,” Beck said. “But once they have evidence of intoxication, that’s what kicks it into higher gear.”

“Our investigators are working hard to find out exactly what happened and whether any laws were violated, other than the obvious ones,” she said.

Randy Norman, general manager of the Rainbow Lounge, told Dallas Voice in July that the Rainbow Lounge closed at 2 that morning. Norman said he saw Larsen leave the bar at about 4 a.m.

“I don’t know where he went afterward,” Norman said at the time. “Brad was definitely not intoxicated when he left this bar. Our policy is no tolerance on drinking by staff.”

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