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New Texas child support law targets drunk drivers

Posted at 5:24 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 18:34:02-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas legislature recently passedHouse Bill 393, a new state bill requiring anyone convicted of intoxication manslaughter to pay child support if a parent or guardian is killed in a crash.

In 2017 Kory Saldana lost his wife in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. His two-year-old son Ezra was in the backseat at the time of the accident

"He (the drunk driver) was going 80 miles an hour and sadly he killed her (my wife) instantly," Saldana said. "My son did die at the scene but they brought back to life however he did suffer a traumatic brain injury."

Saldana had to assume the role of a father and mother for Ezra, stepping in not only emotionally for his son but financially as well.

"It took a lot out of us and during that time I was still trying to grieve the loss of my wife but trying to be strong for my son," Saldana said.

Under House Bill 393, drunk drivers are required to make monthly payments until the child turns 18 or has graduated high school.. The bill is set to go into effect on Sept. 1.

Saldana said even though he doesn't not qualify for this, it would have been a great impact to his life.

"It would have definitely helped, it could have paid for the various therapies that he needed, for instance he is in different types of tutoring classes, and things like that so the money could have gone towards that, towards his health," Saldana said.

The convicted defendant would be required to make those payments on a regular basis to the parent or guardian of the child. In the case the defendant isn’t able to pay due to being imprisoned, then the defendant shall begin payments a year after they are released from the facility.

"There are so many things that we have to go through as victims for our families and so of course I feel like this might not be the perfect situation, it’s never going to please everybody, but this is a really good step in that direction," Saldana said.

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