Tennessee passes bill requiring drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill parent
The Tennessee State Senate unanimously voted to pass a bill which would be known as “Bentley’s Law,” and would require drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill a minor’s parent in a drunk driving accident, according to WREG News.
The bill already passed with unanimous support in the Tennessee House and would mandate that any person convicted of vehicular homicide due to intoxication pay child support to the child of the parent killed in the accident, reports WREG.
The bill gives the convicted one year to begin payments if they are unable to do so due to incarceration, and the payments would be required to continue until the child is 18 years old.
The bill cites several reasons why the payments to the child would be necessary, including: maintaining the child’s standard of living, the financial resources and needs of the child, as well as the financial needs of the surviving parent or guardian of the child, notes the local outlet.
“A parent is responsible for the education and upbringing of that child and when then that parent removed from the home over something so, in my opinion, foolish where we drink and drive and take the life of an innocent then someone needs to be responsible for the upbringing of those children,” State Rep. Mark White, a Republican, said to the outlet.
The bill, if passed into law, would be in honor of a grandmother whose son was killed in a drunk driving accident, along with his fiancée and 4-month-old child in 2021. The accident, according to WREG News, orphaned two kids, 5-year-old Bentley and 3-year-old Mason.
According to USA Today, 28 people are killed in drunk driving car accidents every day in the United States alone, which equates to about 10,000 people dead in the U.S. annually.
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