A bill recently passed in Tennessee will require drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill a parent due to intoxication or are charged with vehicular homicide.
The drunk driver would make payments to the surviving parent and child. When the amount of the payment ordered is calculated, the child’s financial situation will be considered, such as their needs and the resources that the surviving parent has available.
If the child does not have a surviving parent or if the child is in the care of a guardian or family member, then the court will look at their financial details. The court will also look at how the child lived when the deceased parent was alive to try to make a payment arrangement that aids in meeting the child’s standard of living.
If there are multiple children, then restitution would be ordered for each of them until they turn 18 years old and graduate high school, the bill states.
The payments are like those that a parent would make when paying child support.
If a drunk driver is sentenced to jail, that person would need to make payments for the child within one year of being released. While they do not need to pay the total amount they are in prison, they need to begin making regular payments within the first year.
The Tennessee House unanimously passed the bill before it was passed in the same manner on Wednesday in the Senate. Before the bill passed, Senate passed an amendment to rename it “Ethan, Haile, and Bentley’s Law,” according to CBS News.
Nicholas Galinger was killed at the age of 38-years-old. He was a father and police officer.
According to CBS reports, Janet Hinds was intoxicated while behind the wheel of the car that left Galinger’s three children, for whom the legislation is named, without a father.
Hinds was sentenced to 11 years in prison when she was tried in February. The bill aims at ensuring that children do not have to worry about how they will be financially cared for while grieving the loss of a parent.