Texas stands firm, Bentley’s Law now active. Texas communities expect Bentley’s Law to deter fatal decisions. Through Bentley’s Law, Texas imposes new consequences on drunk drivers, especially those whose actions orphan children. It’s a Texas-sized step towards justice, with the hope of safer roads ahead.
Bentley’s Law, named after Bentley’s grandmother Cecilia Williams, was introduced in Texas in honor of her son Cordell, daughter-in-law Lacy, and 4-month-old grandson, who tragically lost their lives in April 2021 due to a drunk driver in Missouri. This law mandates that individuals responsible for such incidents must provide child support to children under the age of 18 who have lost their parents in drunk driving accidents.
Cecilia Williams, who lobbied for the law, felt a personal connection to the issue as she took custody of her two surviving grandchildren, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, after her son and daughter-in-law’s deaths. The law aims to address the financial challenges that families face when a parent or guardian is killed by a drunk driver.
The initiative began in Tennessee, where it became effective in July 2023, making it the first state to implement such a law. Following Tennessee’s example, 24 other states have passed similar legislation to hold drunk drivers accountable for the lifelong consequences of their actions.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a US nonprofit organization, has voiced its support for Bentley’s Law, emphasizing the need to provide justice to victims and survivors while reminding offenders of the impact of their impaired driving decisions. This legislation seeks to address the immeasurable heartbreak caused by drunk driving incidents and ensure that those responsible are held financially responsible for the children left behind.