Should Texas Make Drunk Drivers Pay Child Support to Survivors?
This is a gamechanger and I am 100% in favor of it.
According to KXAN, a new law was just passed unanimously in Tennessee that will require a drunk driver to pay child support if a parent is killed in a crash.
The bill was formerly called "Bentley's Law", inspired by a crash that occurred in which a drunk driver orphaned two children, including a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old named Bentley.
The Tennessee Bill Was Previously Approved By The House
House Bill 1834 forces anyone convicted of vehicular homicide due to intoxication or aggravated vehicular homicide to pay restitution if the victim is the parent of a minor child.
The bill says the court would determine an amount that is “reasonable and necessary” after considering several factors.
Factors That Determine What A Drunk Driver Would Have To Pay A Family
According to the bill, payments wouldn't be required if the surviving parent or guardian of the child files a civil suit and obtains a judgment. However, the following factors determine what cost a drunk driver would have to pay:
- The standard of living to which the child is accustomed
-The financial needs and resources of the child
- The financial resources and needs of the surviving parent or guardian of the child. If the child is in the custody of the state, the court would consider the resources provided by the department of children’s services
- If the defendant is incarcerated and unable to pay, they’re given one year after their release to begin payments. The payments would continue until the child reaches 18 and graduates from high school.
I think this is a great move and hopefully, it would make a drunk driver think twice about getting behind the wheel intoxicated.