The pain of losing a loved one is something no one can really comprehend. Regardless of whether someone dies naturally or in an accident, the void they create will never be filled. One of the most common causes of death in the United States is automobile accidents.
Accidents cause more than 200,000 fatalities in the United States each year, according to the CDC. Heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19 are ranked first through third, with 16.8 percent of all deaths attributed to them. According to the NHTSA, approximately 28 people will die every day as a result of drunk driving.
In different states, drivers who are discovered driving while intoxicated (DUI) face various penalties. The most frequent fines, license suspension, community service, and jail time are used for minor crimes. In some jurisdictions, an ignition interlock device may be needed as a result of the offense. However, no amount of punishment could ever compensate for the loss of a life.
It doesn’t matter how large the penalty or how long the offender must spend in jail, sometimes. Someone has still lost a loved one, and nothing will ever bring them back. The children who are left behind to DUI are those who suffer the most as a result of this.
This compounds their difficulties. What’s more difficult is to accept that their parents were robbed of their lives as a result of someone else’s carelessness on the road.
This is where “Bentley’s Law” can come in handy. The bill was passed after Cecilia Williams’ three children, including her grandson, were killed in a drunken driving collision. As a result of the accident, Bentley and Mason, her other granddaughters, lost their parents.
Bentley’s Law “seeks financial restitution from any DUI offenders whose crime resulted in the death of a parent or guardian.”
This legislation will require persons convicted of DUI offenses to pay child support until their kid reaches the age of 18. If the offender is convicted and sentenced to prison, they can begin paying for financial assistance once they are released and should start working to earn it.
Hopefully, this legislation will act as a deterrent for individuals who are driving while intoxicated. As a result, they’re hoping to decrease the number of repeat offenders. Because it will have a significant impact on the victims’ children, this legislation is particularly important for Cecilia.
Cecilia was able to get this bill passed because she worked with her state representative. This is a particularly important issue for her as a grandmother. She saw the pain her grandsons felt after the loss of a family member. It was also tough for him, as he had to take care of them on a tight budget.
The law was established in the state of Missouri, where Cecilia resides. “It will always be a constant reminder to the offender of what the person’s actions have caused.” she stated.
On February 28, the DUI Prevention Act became Tennessee’s new DUI law. There were 244 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2018, with a BAC of.15 or higher accounting for 68.2 percent of those deaths. Repeat offenders made up 22.5% of the victims, according to the study. And there may be a method to help Bentley’s Law succeed.
Hopefully, no more children will have to go through what we’ve all gone through.