A Texas law requires drunk drivers to pay child support if they cause the death of a parent. The commonsense measure took effect on Friday after being signed by Lone Star State Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year in June.
“Any time a parent passes is tragic, but a death at the hands of a drunk driver is especially heinous,” Abbott tweeted in July. “I was proud to sign HB 393 into law this year to require offenders to pay child support for the children of their victims.”
The payments will be required of individuals convicted of intoxication manslaughter involving the death of a child’s parent or guardian. The court will consider various factors when deciding the amount of the monthly payments, and the payments will be required until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
In the event that the guilty party cannot make the payments while incarcerated, he or she will be required to start shelling out the money no later than the first anniversary of the date of release.
“The defendant may enter into a payment plan to address any arrearage that exists on the date of the defendant’s release. The defendant must pay all arrearages regardless of whether the restitution payments were scheduled to terminate while the defendant was confined or imprisoned in the correctional facility,” the text of the measure states.
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