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Drunk Drivers To Pay Child Support If They Kill Parent Under Tennessee Law

Drunk Man covering his face from police car light

Photo: Getty Images

Lawmakers in Tennessee passed a new law that will require drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill the parent of a minor. Once the bill is signed by Governor Bill Lee, Tennessee will become the first state in the nation to make drunk drivers pay child support.

Under the bill, impaired drivers convicted of vehicular homicide would have to pay child support for the victim's children until they are 18 years of age and have graduated from high school.

The amount of child support would be determined by the courts and would be based on a multitude of factors, including the financial needs of the children, the financial resources of the surviving parent or guardian, and the children's current standard of living.

If a defendant is unable to pay because they are incarcerated, they will be expected to begin making those payments within one year of being released.

"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," Rep. Mark White told WREG.