An arrest for drunk driving in Texas carries serious consequences. Convictions result in up to a fine in the thousands of dollars and potentially months in jail. State sentencing guidelines for the crime range from two to 20 years. In addition, revocation of a driver’s license can last up to a year.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed HB-393 into law that mandates that drunk drivers convicted of intoxication manslaughter be forced to pay child support if the collision killed a parent of a child. Mandatory monthly payments occur until the child turns 18 or has graduated from high school.
Life-changing financial consequences
The new law goes into effect on September 1st. Those convicted of intoxication manslaughter will be required to pay restitution to support the victim’s minor children. Also, the law will not be retroactive.
Specific factors start with the existing financial resources of the convicted offender. From there, the focus is on economic and educational needs, the resulting physical and emotional trauma, standards of living, and the needs and resources of the parent still alive or the guardian if both partners died.
Amounts are based on financial needs and resources for the child, surviving parent, or guardian. If the convicted drunk driver cannot make payments while incarcerated, installments start within one year after release.
Drunk driving convictions in the Lonestar State already carry severe and life-changing criminal penalties and significant fines. The loss of a driver’s license alone can impact all aspects of your life. In addition, a criminal record will follow you when you apply for jobs.