A new Texas law requires drunken drivers who kill parents or guardians to pay child support to the victims’ children until they turn 18 .
Bipartisan House Bill 393 went into effect on Friday, September 1.
Children will receive payments until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later.
The bill was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 2.
“Any time a parent passes is tragic, but a death at the hands of a drunk driver is especially heinous,” Abbott tweeted on July 25th.
The court will determine the monthly payment depending on a number of factors, including the financial needs of the child and the surviving parent or guardian, if there is one, as well as the financial resources of the defendant.
The payments are to be paid to a surviving parent or guardian, or the Department of Family and Protective Services, if the child is placed in their care.
If the defendant isn’t able to make the necessary payments because of imprisonment, they should begin payments no later than one year after being released.
“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 law states.