Tennessee Passes Bill Requiring DUI Drivers to Pay Child Support if Parent is Killed

Tennessee made national headlines on Thursday after the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously passed a law which would require DUI drivers who cause a fatal crash in which a parent or guardian is killed to pay child support to surviving children. 

The Washington Examiner reports that House Bill 1834 was introduced by Tennessee state Representative Mark Hall was passed on Wednesday and would require convicted DUI drivers to pay child support until a child reaches the age of 18 or has graduated from high school.

A single amendment to the bill was made to include the names of the children of police officer Nicholas Salinger who was killed in 2019 by a woman driving under the influence of alcohol.

The amount of support that a child or children receive will be based on financial need. If a convicted DUI driver is sentenced to prison time, child support payments begin within one year of their release.

The legislation will be sent to the desk of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, where it is expected to be signed into law.

House Bill 1834 comes after a report by Safer America was released indicating that an estimated 26% of all fatal crashes in Tennessee involved an intoxicated driver.

This groundbreaking legislation is expected to set a legal precedent, and similar legislation will likely be introduced in other states. Currently, the state of Alabama has introduced a bill much like that of Tennessee.

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