HomeLocal News

New Tennessee law requires drunk drivers found guilty of vehicular homicide to pay child support

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press: A new state law affecting drunk driving cases could apply a new penalty in the case of a fatal Christmas day crash in Bradley County.

The Tennessee law passed last year requires a judge to order any person found guilty in fatal DUI cases to pay restitution or child support to any surviving children of the victims.

The law requires a judge to order any person convicted of vehicular homicide by intoxication or aggravated vehicular homicide by intoxication to pay child support to any surviving children of the victims until the child has reached age 18.

Under this law, Patricke Conley — the man charged with two counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication in the fatal Christmas Day accident that took the life of Dustin and Brittany Dillard– would be ordered to pay child support to all three of the couple’s young children, should he be found guilty at trial.

Conley, 42, whose blood alcohol level has not been released, entered a not guilty plea for the vehicular homicide charges as well as three counts of vehicular assault charges during a bond hearing on Dec. 29 before Bradley County General Sessions Court Judge Clay Collins.

Conley, who requested a public defender at the hearing, is due to return to court at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 12th for a status hearing.