OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives today passed legislation allowing courts to order drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill a parent of a minor.
House Bill 2130, authored by Rep. John George, R-Newalla, would allow the court to order any person convicted of drunk driving or other intoxicating substance that causes a parent or guardian to be fatally injured in an accident to pay child support. It would last until each child reaches 18 years of age or when the child graduates high school.
“As a state, we need to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions,” George said. “Driving under the influence is a decision that affects so many lives. I hope this bill will make an offender think twice before drinking and driving again.”
The bill allows the court to determine what’s “reasonable and necessary” in terms of payments, considering factors like the child’s financial needs and resources as well as reasonable work-related child care expenses of the surviving parent or guardian.
HB2130 is known as Bentley’s Law, an initiative started by Missouri resident Cecilia Williams and named for her grandson, Bentley, whose parents were killed by a drunk driver.
It passed the House 83-11 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.