People that cause drunk driving fatalities often face significant criminal penalties, including jail time and fines. In some states, if a person killed in a drunk driving crash was the parent of a minor child, the person that caused the collision may have to pay child support as well. Tennessee is the most recent state to introduce such legislation via a law named after children left behind when their parents died in drunk driving collisions. The law indicates a movement to dissuade people from driving while intoxicated by increasing penalties, and similar legislation was previously bought in Illinois. If you are charged with causing a DUI collision, it is smart to speak to an Illinois DUI defense attorney about your possible defenses.
The Tennessee Legislation
It is reported that a 2023 Tennessee law requires people who cause drunk driving accidents that kill parents to pay child support for any surviving children. Specifically, the law dictates that if a person is convicted of vehicular homicide due to intoxication and the person killed in the accident was the parent of a child under the age of majority, the sentencing court must order the defendant to pay restitution in the form of maintenance to each child left behind by the victim.
Allegedly, the support obligation will endure until the child reaches the age of eighteen or graduates from high school. The courts must determine what constitutes a reasonable and necessary support obligation based on all relevant factors, including the child’s financial resources and needs, the financial resources and needs of any surviving parent, and the standard of living the child is accustomed to enjoying. The law was created by a drafted resident of Missouri after her grandson, Bentley, was orphaned by a drunk driving accident; the statute is named Ethan’s Hailey’ and Bentley’s Law. Continue reading →