Texas drunk driver child support law: HB 393 requires payments to intoxication manslaughter victim's children

A new Texas law will require drunk drivers who kill parents to pay child support.

HB 393 was signed by the governor earlier this month and goes into effect later this year on Sept. 1.


Under the new law, those convicted of intoxication manslaughter will be required to pay restitution to support the victim’s minor children.

A judge will determine the amount that the offender must pay until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

The judge will consider factors like the child’s financial and educational needs, their physical and emotional condition, the standard of living the child is accustomed to, the resources and needs of their surviving parent or guardian, and the financial resources of the offender.

MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott okays bill to eliminate annual vehicle inspections

If someone cannot pay because they are in prison, they must begin payments within a year after they are released. The court will set up a payment plan for the money owed.

Intoxication manslaughter carries a sentence ranging from two to 20 years in Texas.

The law will not apply to crimes committed before the law goes into effect.