Kill A Parent While Driving Drunk in Tennessee? Prepare to Pay Child Support

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
kill a parent while driving drunk in tennessee prepare to pay child support

If you drive drunk in Tennessee and kill someone, and that someone has a child or children under the age of 18, you may end up paying child support.

That is if Tennessee governor Bill Lee signs House Bill 1834 into law. It has already passed the state’s House and Senate.

The bill states that it: “Requires a sentencing court, in convictions of vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular homicide and when the deceased victim was the parent of a minor child, to order the defendant to pay restitution in the form of child maintenance to each of the victim’s children until each child reaches 18 years of age and has graduated high school.”

The state will use things such as the standard of living the child was accustomed to, financial needs, and the resources of the child/children and any parent or guardian who survives the crash.

Additionally, a surviving parent or guardian can still file civil suit or get a judgment against the offender, if the driver is convicted. Any child-support payment granted as part of the case would supersede any existing child-support arrangements.

Convicted offenders will need to begin making payments immediately, and if they cannot because they’re in jail or prison, they have until one year passes post-release. If the payments aren’t all made when the child or children turn 18, they will continue until complete.

Cecilia Williams, whose son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were killed by a drunk driver in April of 2021, is the driving force behind the law.

“They will always remember, this is what I did to the family, you know, and it will sink into them. I can’t do this again. You know, I’m supporting children that aren’t mine,” she said to 9 News ABC.

At first, the bill was slated to be named after Cecilia’s oldest still-living grandson, but the names of two other children who lost a parent to drunk driving have been added, changing it to “Ethan’s, Hailey’s, and Bentley’s Law.”

Yet another reason to NOT get behind the wheel after getting sloshed.

[Image: Paul Biryukov/]

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  • Shipwright Shipwright on Apr 25, 2022

    I'm not sure I agree with this. Is there any reason why this couldn't be applied to any situation resulting in a wrongful death such as vehicular accidents not involving alcohol? Why not manslaughter? slippery slope indeed! (edit) why not ANY alcohol related death?

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Apr 25, 2022

    Good intentions is the asphalt used in the road to hell. I want to like this law. I'd like a law that makes campaign donations illegal and publicly funds elections more.

  • SCE to AUX Good summary, Matt.I like EVs, but not bans, subsidies, or carbon credits. Let them find their own level.PM Sunak has done a good thing, but I'm surprised at how sensibly early he made the call. Hopefully they'll ban the ban altogether.
  • SCE to AUX "Having spoken to plenty of suppliers over the years, many have told me they tried to adapt to EV production only to be confronted with inconsistent orders."Lofty sales predictions followed by reality.I once worked (very briefly) for a key supplier to Segway, back when "Ginger" was going to change the world. Many suppliers like us tooled up to support sales in the millions, only to sell thousands - and then went bankrupt.
  • SCE to AUX "all-electric vehicles, resulting in a scenario where automakers need fewer traditional suppliers"Is that really true? Fewer traditional suppliers, but they'll be replaced with other suppliers. You won't have the myriad of parts for an internal combustion engine and its accessories (exhaust, sensors), but you still have gear reducers (sometimes two or three), electric motors with lots of internal components, motor mounts, cooling systems, and switchgear.Battery packs aren't so simple, either, and the fire recalls show that quality control is paramount.The rest of the vehicle is pretty much the same - suspension, brakes, body, etc.
  • Theflyersfan As crazy as the NE/Mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor drivers can be, for the most part they pay attention and there aren't too many stupid games. I think at times it's just too crowded for that stuff. I've lived all over the US and the worst drivers are in parts of the Midwest. As I've mentioned before, Ohio drivers have ZERO lane discipline when it comes to cruising, merging, and exiting. And I've just seen it in this area (Louisville) where many drivers have literally no idea how to merge. I've never seen an area where drivers have no problems merging onto an interstate at 30 mph right in front of you. There are some gruesome wrecks at these merge points because it looks like drivers are just too timid to merge and speed up correctly. And the weaving and merging at cloverleaf exits (which in this day and age need to all go away) borders on comical in that no one has a bloody clue of let car merge in, you merge right to exit, and then someone repeats behind you. That way traffic moves. Not a chance here.And for all of the ragging LA drivers get, I found them just fine. It's actually kind of funny watching them rearrange themselves like after a NASCAR caution flag once traffic eases up and they line up, speed up to 80 mph for a few miles, only to come to a dead halt again. I think they are just so used to the mess of freeways and drivers that it's kind of a "we'll get there when we get there..." kind of attitude.
  • Analoggrotto I refuse to comment until Tassos comments.