TEXAS (KXAN) — A new Texas law taking effect Friday will authorize that children whose parent or legal guardian was killed by someone convicted of intoxication manslaughter will now receive child support.

Under House Bill 393, those convicted on intoxication manslaughter charges will be required to pay monthly child support “until the child reaches 18 years of age or has graduated from high school, whichever is later.”

The defendant isn’t required to pay restitution to individuals who are 19 years or older, per the law.

“The court shall determine an amount for restitution under this article that is reasonable and necessary to support the child,” the legislation reads in part. Factors considered when determining that restitution amount includes:

  • The child’s financial and resource needs
  • “Financial needs and resources of the surviving parent or guardian or other current guardian of the child or, if applicable, the financial resources of the state if the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed as temporary or permanent managing conservator of the child”
  • The “standard of living to which the child is accustomed”
  • The child’s physical and emotional conditions, as well as their emotional needs
  • The child’s physical and legal custody arrangements
  • “The reasonable work-related child care expenses of the surviving parent or guardian or other current guardian, if applicable”
  • The defendant’s financial resources

The convicted defendant would be required to make those payments on a regular basis and direct them to the parent or guardian of the child or the Department of Family and Protective Services. If the defendant isn’t able to make payments due to being confined or imprisoned, “the defendant shall begin payments not later than the first anniversary of the date of the defendant’s release from the facility.”

A PR firm for the Texas Department of Transportation said in an email there were 345 DUI-alcohol-related traffic crashes over Labor Day Weekend in 2022, which resulted in 20 fatalities and 62 serious injuries. More than 1,200 people died in Texas because of a DUI-alcohol-related traffic crash over the past year, per the spokesperson.

TxDOT is launching its statewide “Drive Sober, No Regrets” campaign as law enforcement personnel are expected to more closely patrol roadways during the holiday weekend.

More details on House Bill 393 are available online.