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New Law Requires Texans Convicted of Intoxicated Manslaughter to Pay Child Support

Under a new state law that went into effect on Friday in Texas, motorists who are convicted of intoxicated manslaughter and have killed a child’s parent or parents in a crash will now be required to pay child support. The law aims to provide financial restitution to the victims’ children.

The court will determine the monthly amount owed to the victim’s child until they turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever comes later. The amount will be calculated based on the child’s needs, the child’s previous standard of living, their physical and emotional state, educational needs, residential and custodial situation, and the childcare expenses of the child’s guardian.

If the defendant is unable to make payments due to imprisonment, they will be required to start making payments no later than one year after their release. The law also allows for defendants to enter into payment plans, and any outstanding payments will still need to be made, even if the restitution end date has passed while the defendant was in prison.

The bill, known as Texas House Bill 393 or “Bentley’s Law,” was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in June. Intoxicated manslaughter under Texas law includes deaths caused by drunk airplane and boat pilots, as well as amusement park ride operators.

Similar legislation has been introduced or drafted in over 12 other states, with four states already passing laws requiring restitution to be paid to the children of deceased victims. Bentley’s Law aims to hold offenders accountable for their actions and provide support to families affected by drunk driving accidents.

The name “Bentley’s Law” comes from Bentley Williams, a Missouri child who was orphaned in a car crash. Although “Bentley’s Law” has not yet been passed in Missouri, Williams’ grandmother, Cecilia Williams, has been actively advocating for its implementation.

The push to pass “Bentley’s Law” has been successful in several states, but it was vetoed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards in June, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

This law serves as a way to ensure that those responsible for taking the life of a child’s parent due to intoxicated manslaughter are held accountable and contribute to the financial support of the child left behind. It aims to bring justice and provide assistance to families who have suffered from such tragic incidents caused by impaired drivers.

Source: ViralNewsScope

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