Texas drunk drivers will now have to pay child support if they kill a parent, guardian

Offender expected to make payments until child is 18 or graduates high school

ByMichelle Watson
Saturday, September 2, 2023
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AUSTIN, Texas -- A new law in Texas requires convicted drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill a child's parent or guardian, according to House Bill 393.

The video above is about the National Transportation Safety Board wanting new vehicles to be designed to detect and stop drunk drivers.

The law, which went into effect Friday, says those convicted of intoxication manslaughter must pay restitution. The offender will be expected to make those payments until the child is 18 or until the child graduates from high school, "whichever is later," the legislation says.

Intoxication manslaughter is defined by state law as a person operating "a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake."

RELATED: Tennessee bill requires drunk drivers to pay child support to children of victims

If someone is unable to pay the restitution because they're incarcerated, they're expected to make payments no "later than the first anniversary of the date," of their release, the law says.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill in June, according to Texas' bill tracking website.

In July, Abbott said he was proud to back the legislation.

"I was proud to sign HB 393 into law this year to require offenders to pay child support for the children of their victims," Abbott said.

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