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

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/Shutterstock.com]

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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.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
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