Beneath Bentley’s Regulation, if a mother or father of a minor little one dies by the hands of a drunk driver, the convicted drunk driver is then answerable for little one assist.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A brand new invoice in Tennessee goals to chop down on ingesting and driving by making offenders pay.
“Home Invoice 1834 may be very easy and easy,” stated Rep. Mark Corridor on the Home flooring.
It is also referred to as Bentley’s Law. It was impressed by a lady in Missouri, whose grandson, Bentley, misplaced each dad and mom in a drunk driving crash.
Beneath Bentley’s Law, if a mother or father of a minor little one dies by the hands of a drunk driver, the convicted drunk driver is then answerable for little one assist.
“I want we would had considered it years in the past,” stated Rep. William Lamberth.
“That is a really inventive invoice,” stated Rep. Antonio Parkinson. “It is a good invoice and, I am signing on to it.”
The handed unanimously within the Tennessee Senate and Home.
For moms like Tanya Learn, it is a signal of progress, and nonetheless, a reminder of her personal ache.
“As a sufferer myself, it gave me some peace to see that impaired driving wrecks are being taken critically,” stated Learn.
Learn’s son, Nick, was killed by a drunk driver the night time earlier than his highschool commencement.
“It’s going to be seven years this Could, and I nonetheless see the consequences,” stated Learn. “There’s all the time going to be an empty chair at our home.”
Impaired driving is a rising downside. In accordance with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in 2020 there have been 5,918 reported DUI crashes. In 2021, that quantity grew to six,047.
“Everyone knows that driving impaired is harmful,” stated Learn. “Generally you must hit folks of their pocket to get the purpose throughout.”
Shortly after her son’s dying, Learn turned a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and an advocate for extra legal guidelines that might stop these tragedies.
“It’s one other hopeful deterrent,” stated Learn. “One more reason for folks to suppose twice.”
Beneath this new invoice, the kid assist funds would proceed till the sufferer’s youngsters are 18 and graduate from highschool.
If the particular person convicted is in jail, these funds will begin one yr after they’re launched.
To change into regulation, all of the invoice wants is Gov. Invoice Lee’s signature.