The state of Texas established legislation requiring convicted drunk drivers to pay restitution to the surviving children of a parent or guardian who was killed in a traffic accident.
In July, Texas Governor and Republican Greg Abbott said he supported a law because the deaths of parents caused by drunk drivers are especially tragic. He said he was pleased to approve a bill to hold reckless drivers more accountable to their victims.
On Friday, HB 393 went into effect, requiring anyone convicted of intoxication manslaughter to pay reparations to the minor children of victims of the crime. The sum awarded by the court would be paid monthly until the kid turns 18 or completes high school, whichever comes first.
According to state law, intoxication manslaughter occurs when an intoxicated individual runs a motor vehicle, airplane, boat, or amusement ride or sets up a mobile amusement ride and so causes the accidental death of another person.
After the tragic 2017 death of Kory Saldana’s wife at the hands of a drunk driver, he was left to care for his little son, Ezra, who was only two years old at the time. Saldana said his wife was killed instantaneously by a drunk motorist doing 80 mph.
Saldana said paramedics brought Ezra back to life after he had died at the scene, but he had sustained catastrophic brain damage. He cannot get compensation since his wife died in 2017, but he still wishes he could have gotten some money to help raise his Ezra and pay for any medical care he needed after the tragedy.
He informed the media that not everyone would be happy with the legislation, but it was a positive step in the right direction. He said as victims, there is so much more that they have to go through with their families.