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(107,677 posts)
Mon Feb 19, 2024, 02:16 PM Feb 19

Drunken drivers would have to pay child support for victims' kids under these laws [View all]

It was an unimaginable tragedy — the loss of her son, daughter-in-law and 4-month-old grandson in an April 13, 2021, car crash in Missouri — that pushed Cecilia Williams into advocacy.


Working with other advocates, she helped write legislation called “Bentley and Mason’s Law” — often shortened to Bentley’s Law — that would require convicted drunken drivers to pay child support for children who lose one or both parents in a fatal accident.

The bill was first introduced in her home state of Missouri in 2022, but it failed. Still, similar legislation is spreading in U.S. statehouses, according to Becky Iannotta, a spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one of the major advocacy groups for Bentley’s Law.

Three states — Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas — have passed some version of Bentley’s Law. Since 2022, at least 20 states have considered legislation similar to it.


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