Oklahoma bill would force drunk drivers who kill parents to pay child support
Drunk drivers in Oklahoma could soon find themselves on the hook for child support payments if they kill a parent in a DUI crash.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 2130 this week which would allow courts to include child support for minors into the sentence for a DUI accident, KTUL-TV reported.
The measure passed by a vote of 83-11 and will now head to the Republican controlled Oklahoma Senate.
The bill is known as "Bentley’s Law" which first passed in Missouri after a push from a woman named Cecilia Williams whose grandson Bentley lost his parents to a drunk driving crash.
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"This, to me, seems like a legitimate solution for us to support Oklahoma children who are too often left behind," Jerod Breit, Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s regional executive director, told the outlet.
"Bentley’s Law better ensures justice and accountability. MADD believes that passing Bentley’s Law will make people think twice before getting behind the wheel impaired."
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Some have raised concerns about the ability of people in jail or prison to pay child support which Breit said is a concern that should make potential drunk drivers think twice.
"That’s a question for the offenders," Breit said. "At the end of the day, we hope that question alone makes people think twice about getting behind the wheel of a car impaired."
Republican State Rep. John George, who authored the bill, said on the House floor that "anytime you can prevent" drunk driving it’s a "great thing" and if you can’t prevent it this bill can still "give some kind of benefit to the victim’s family."