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Tennessee has passed a law to support child support while driving while intoxicated

In Tennessee, a bill that requires drunk drivers to support the children of victims goes to the governor’s desk. Other states are considering similar legislation.

UPDATED: The 1834 House of Tennessee Bill, “Ethan, Hailey’s and Bentley’s Law,” was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on May 25, 2022. The original story continues as written below.

Tennessee’s drunken driving law is attracting attention on social media with some express their support according to the application within the country.

Tweets (here and here) claim that state lawmakers have passed a bill requiring drunk drivers to pay child support if it causes the death of a parent. WebMD also shared a similar headline on Facebook.

QUESTION

Have Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that would require alimony to be paid to children if a drunk driver kills his parents?

SOURCES

ANSWER

Yes, Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill that would require child support if a drunk driver kills his parents. The bill is now on the governor’s desk, and if signed, it will be a law.

WHAT WE FOUND

Missouri resident Cecilia Williams is leading an initiative called the Bentley Law, named after her granddaughter who lost her parents and 4-month-old brother in a suspected DUI accident. The law, which requires drunk drivers to pay alimony for the surviving children of victims, was first introduced in Missouri for anti-drunken mothers (MADD).

The Missouri House Bill 1954 would require a drunk driver to pay child support to a child or a surviving parent or guardian of children until they reach the age of 18. If the child is 18 years old and attending college, payments will be made until they reach the age of 21 or older. their degree – which comes first.

In other US states, lawmakers have similar legislation, and both the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed a version. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office will review the latest legislation once it reaches his desk, a spokesman told VERIFY on April 26. According to MADD, Lee is expected to sign the bill.

The Tennessee House Bill of 1834 covers the two surviving children of a police officer who was shot and killed by a drunk driver under the Ethan, Hailey, and Bentley Act, and in January 2022, his main sponsor, Rep. Presented by Mark. Hall (R-Cleveland). The bill requires a defendant convicted of “drunken driving or homicide in severe circumstances” to pay child support to each of the victim’s children who have reached the age of 18 and finished high school.

Under the bill, the court will have to determine a “reasonable and necessary” amount to support the victim’s child or children, taking into account the material needs and resources of the child and the surviving guardian, as well as the family’s standard of living. the child is accustomed to.

Ohio spokeswoman Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) said on April 25 that she introduced a bill requiring drunk drivers to support the children of victims. According to the MADD, there are about many other states that are reviewing versions of the Bentley Act.

“The Bentley Law is the result of a tragedy that affected the lives of two beautiful boys, Bentley and Mason, and our family,” Williams said. “These accidents can be completely prevented, and I will continue to fight for change for anyone suffering from disabled drivers. Many families like me face this loss every second of every day, and the Bentley Act will be amended to hold the perpetrator accountable for such heinous acts. ”

More from VERIFY: Tennessee marriage bill and child custody allegations

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Tennessee has passed a law to support child support while driving while intoxicated

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