"Ethan's, Hailey's, and Bentley's Law" is now in effect in TN; DUI offenders to pay child support
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
“Ethan's, Hailey's, and Bentley's law," is now in effect in Tennessee- the law named after children whos parents were killed in crashes caused by drunk drivers requires an impaired driver convicted of vehicular homicide to pay restitution in the form of child support.
“It's a brand new law. It's actually the first law in the country that does this…so tennessee is going to blaze a trail on this one," said Attorney Mark Donahoe of The Donahoe Firm.
The child support will be paid until the kids are eighteen years old and graduate high school
The amount of child support would be based on the financial needs of the child, the financial resources of the surviving parent or the state and the standard of living that the child is used to.
If the defendant is incarcerated and can't pay, they are given one year after their release to begin payments.
“If someone is charged under the law and they go through trial and are convicted or plead guilty to it, then there will be a review by the court of appeal and if and eventually by the tennessee supreme court. And once those reviews are done and those opinions are issued, we'll have more guidance about how to apply the law and how it's how it will be applied in the future," Donahoe explains.
Donahoe and his team may even be a part of how the law develops, “My office currently handles three of these cases. As we sit here and talk, I mean, who knows, maybe we can maybe we will be one of the first to go the court of appeals and try to put some definition on it.”
Victims are hoping they will find some form of justice through the child support.