Courts would be mandated to order financial support for children whose parents are killed by a drunk driver under legislation introduced by State Sen. Edward Durr (R-Swedesboro).
Durr’s bill requires financial support for minors until they turn 18 for anyone convicted of reckless vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“A child that loses a parent or guardian to a drunk driver experiences an incredible amount of emotional distress. Their entire life is upended in an instant and, in addition to emotional consequences, they may also suffer significant financial consequences,” Durr stated. “Since parents are ultimately responsible for the upbringing and education of their children, if a parent is killed by a drunk driver, that driver should be held responsible for the financial well-being of those children.”
A similar bill was passed by the Tennessee State Senate last month and Durr used that as a model for his proposal.
“Every day, there are children in New Jersey who continue to feel the painful effects of these drunk driving tragedies,” Durr said. “By creating additional penalties, we will discourage other drivers from putting their life, and the lives of innocent bystanders, at stake.”
Durr’s legislation will extend the support payments to age 21 if a child has a mental or physical disability.