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Drunk Drivers Who Kill A Parent Could Soon Be Forced To Pay Child Support In One US State

by : Charisa Bossinakis on :
Drunk Drivers Who Kill A Parent Could Soon Be Forced To Pay Child Support In One US State
Drunk Drivers Who Kill A Parent Could Soon Be Forced To Pay Child Support In One US State (Alamy)

Convicted drink drivers who cause the death of a parent in a crash could be forced to pay child support in Tennessee after a bill passed the state Senate.

House Bill 1834 would require a person convicted of vehicular homicide to pay child support until the victim's child turns 18 and has finished high school.

The child’s surviving parent or guardian would determine the amount of payment required, with the standard of living factoring into the sum of money owed too.

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However, if the convicted driver is unable to pay the restitution, they have one year after their release in which they can distribute child support payments.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

State Representative Mark White welcomed the bill and stated that convicted drivers need to be held ‘responsible’ for the implications of their accidents, especially when children are impacted.

He told WREG-TV: "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.”

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He added: “If you have the financial responsibility for the rest of your life or for the upbringing of children who’ve lost a parent, education, shelter, food, clothing, all of the above, you need to really think twice.”

USA Today reports that the bill was inspired after parents in Missouri were killed during a drunk driving accident, leaving grandmother Cecilia Williams to raise her orphaned granddaughter.

House Bill 1834, or ‘Benley’s law’, passed unanimously in Tennessee's state Senate and was also amended to be named after the late police officer Nicholas Galinger’s children, Hailey and Ethan.

News Channel 9 reports that Officer Gallinger was hit and killed while inspecting an overflowing manhole on Hamill Road in Chattanooga in 2019.

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Janet Hinds, who was intoxicated when she struck the officer, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in February this year.

While appearing in court, Hinds made a tearful apology to Galinger’s family, wishing she could do anything to take back that night, according to The Chattanooga.com.

She said: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise to both families.

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News

Law Requiring Drunk Drivers To Pay Child Support If Parent Is Killed Passes In US State

published at4 months ago

“If I would’ve known someone was behind that sign, I would’ve stopped. I am so sorry to the Galinger family, and I hope one day you find mercy.

"I would do anything in the world to undo that night.”

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

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