— Advertisement —

Bill would mandate child support in drunk driving deaths

A parent is killed on the roadway by someone who made the choice to drive while intoxicated. The person responsible cannot replace the loss of a loved one, but they can at least take care of some of the dead parent’s financial dependents.

That’s what a bill proposed by Rep. Roger Goodman of Kirkland aims to make happen: Mandate that drunk drivers pay child support if they kill a parent.

From the PI:

— Advertisement —

If a state representative has his way, penalties for drunks on the road will be a lot tougher.

State Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, wants tougher penalties for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. He’s also working on a proposal that would require a drunken driver who kills or severely injures a parents to pay child support for the victim’s kids.

“Incarceration is not proven to deter drunk driving, but nevertheless offenders are getting out too soon,” said Goodman, who is a candidate to replace U.S. Rep Jay Inslee, who is running for governor.

He said that while there is a desire to make vehicular homicide penalties the same as manslaughter, there’s question of overall political will because of the costs involved for additional prison time.

This bill is in the same vein as a discussion in the comments of our post about the death of Bradley Nakatani. A long-term financial commitment to the dependents left without that income is the LEAST we should be demanding from people whose irresponsible and criminal decisions lead to the death of another human being on our roadways.

About the author:

Related posts:


5 responses to “Bill would mandate child support in drunk driving deaths”

  1. Brad Hawkins

    Brilliant idea! I wonder which advocacy organizations will pick this up and carry it. Feet first? Cascade? Futurewise? BAW? I’ll get involved heavily with whichever group is carrying water for this one.

  2. Bruce Newman

    This option is already available through a civil wrongful death suit. I wonder whether this proposal would really improve a family’s options, or cause unintended consequences such as reduced civil awards?

    1. Brian

      That may be so, but not having to file a lawsuit simplifies the process more than a bit. And no 30% fee, either. It would only reduce civil damage awards if the estate or dependents brought a successful WD/survivor claim, in which case a reduction is proper because there already would have been compensation for lost monetary support. The point is to prevent double recovery. I think it is a great idea.

  3. Gary

    Also unpaid child support, unlike an unpaid civil claim will prevent someone from licensing a vehicle, getting a hunting/fishing permit. And states trade this information, where as if you flee a civil claim, requires the claimant to re-file with the payroll dept at the new job etc… Much tougher to evade.

  4. It strikes me as odd that our society is capable of mustering up outrage over this one way of driving irresponsibly, but not all the others.

    Even the supporters of this bill admit that even incarceration isn’t proven to deter drunk-driving. What we need is a full cultural shift in how we look at driving cars, grounded in the fact that their size and speed renders them capable of causing massive damage to others. We need to shift our driving culture to one of responsibility, not entitlement. I might say the same of some other activities, like generation of waste/pollution… but that’s another issue…

— Advertisement —

Got a tip? Email Tom.

Get posts via email


Join the Seattle Bike Blog Supporters

Supporters receive endless love in addition to the satisfaction of knowing you helped power independent bike news in the Seattle area. Please consider supporting the site financially if you are able, starting at $5 per month:

Bike Events Calendar

6:00 pm Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board M…
Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board M…
Jun 7 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Monthly agendas can be found at: http://www.seattle.gov/seattle-bicycle-advisory-board/meetings/meeting-agendas The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB) advises the Mayor, City Council, and City Departments and Divisions on projects, policies, and programs that improve and/or affect bicycling conditions in[…]
7:15 pm Point83 @ Westlake Park
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Jun 8 @ 7:15 pm
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Meet up in the center of the park at 7ish. Leave at 730. Every Thursday from now until forever rain or shine. Bikes, beers, illegal firepits, nachos, bottlerockets, timetraveling, lollygagging, mechanicals, good times.
all-day The City of Bellevue presents th… @ Robinswood Community Park, North Entrance, 14915, SE 22nd St.
The City of Bellevue presents th… @ Robinswood Community Park, North Entrance, 14915, SE 22nd St.
Jun 10 all-day
The City of Bellevue presents the 10th Annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride June 10, 2023 Explore Bellevue’s hidden treasures by bike on the Lake to Lake Bike Ride on June 10, 2023, rain or[…]
9:00 am Find It-Fix It Ride with Ballard… @ Ballard Locks Parking lot
Find It-Fix It Ride with Ballard… @ Ballard Locks Parking lot
Jun 10 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The sun is out in Seattle so it’s time to bring back the Find It, Fix It ride! We will be riding on June 10th, and the 10 mile route will take us through many of our ongoing projects[…]
10:00 am Friends on Bikes 2nd Saturday Ri…
Friends on Bikes 2nd Saturday Ri…
Jun 10 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Friends on Bikes2nd Saturday Ride Series– – – ✨🌸 SPRING HAS SPRUNG 🌸✨And we are ready to roll into the sunshine. Starting April 9th, join us every second Saturday, late mornings for no-drop, snack-forward, and friendly[…]
— Advertisements —

Latest on Mastodon

Loading Mastodon feed…

Latest on YouTube