AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas legislature is considering a new bill this session that would require convicted drunk drivers to give child support payments if a parent of a minor is killed in the crash. 

House Bill 393, filed by Texas Rep. Craig Goldman, has bipartisan support and already passed in the Criminal Jurisprudence committee. Next, it will likely go to the House floor for a vote. 

The idea for the law came from an initiative in Missouri, where their legislature considered Brentley’s Law – named after Brentley, whose two parents and infant brother were killed in a drunk driving incident in 2021, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The bill in Missouri did not pass but sparked a national consideration.

Tennessee became the first state to pass it in 2022, and now 12 other states, including Texas, are considering adding the law, according to MADD.

“Often we see many grandparents that are in a position now to raise the children considering that, due to a DWI crash, the parents are no longer with us. And this [law] would be able to better support the grandparents that are now in the unexpected position to raise that child,” Tess Rowland, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said.

“We ultimately hope that this will make people think twice, because drunk driving is a choice, and it is 100% preventable. These crashes never have to happen,” she continued. 

If the Texas bill becomes law, a court will determine how much should be paid monthly to the surviving children. The defendant would be required to pay the restitution until the surviving child turns 18 or graduates from high school – whichever comes later, according to the bill’s text. 

If the defendant cannot make the payments because they are incarcerated, the defendant can begin making the payment no later than one year after their release date, according to the bill. 

Around 32 people in the U.S. die in drunk-driving crashes every day. In 2020, nearly 12,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to the United States Department of Transportation. The number of these deaths increased by 14% from 2019 to 2020. 

Forbes Advisor created a ranking of the worst states for drunk driving across the U.S. They ranked Texas as the third most dangerous. In that analysis, Forbes found that around 40% of all traffic fatalities in the state were caused by drunk drivers. 

Rowland said she knows firsthand how dangerous drunk driving can be. An alleged drunk driver struck her car head-on in 2021. 

“I sustained injuries to my entire right side, which has resulted in seven surgeries, metal throughout my entire right side and four large scars,” she said.

“I can personally attest that you never heal from this type of trauma,” she continued.

The legislative session is set to end on May 29.