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Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

State bill: Drunk drivers who kill parents must pay child support

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | DUI - Drunk Driving |

A new law considered in Oklahoma would make DUI offenders more financially responsible for the children whose parents died as a result of their unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel when drunk.

Lawmakers in the Oklahoma House have introduced a bill that would require drunk drivers whose actions led to the deaths of parents to pay child support. And those child support payments could last until those children reach 21 if they are in college.

Other states considering similar laws

The same type of legislation is being considered or already is in place in other states such as Tennessee, New York, Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Connecticut. Oklahoma lawmakers will consider the bill when they convene on Feb. 6.

Through the years, the public has grown increasingly intolerant of fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers. The tragedy and heartache brought by these incidents have struck a chord with many people saddened to learn a drunk driver’s actions led to orphaned children.

In Oklahoma, DUI scenarios involving the loss of life may bring much more severe criminal charges against the responsible driver. Those charges may include:

  • Second-degree manslaughter
  • First-degree manslaughter
  • Negligent homicide
  • Second-degree murder

Facing these charges in court promise to be an uphill battle. Expect severe and lingering consequences if involved in this situation.

Making offenders more financially responsible

People understand that a DUI charge is significant, potentially leading to incarceration, probation, stiff fines, loss of driver’s license and loss of vehicle. With its proposed law, Oklahoma lawmakers hope to add more penalties, frighten people and make DUI offenders much more financially responsible.