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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Measure filed to provide restitution for orphaned children of drunk driving victims

Rep. Juan José Santiago Nieves

By The Star Staff

District 28 Rep. Juan José Santiago Nieves on Thursday filed House Bill 1827, which proposes a law obliging drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents to pay restitution to orphaned children until they reach adulthood.

“The legislation was passed in several U.S. states, such as Texas,” Santiago Nieves said in a written statement. “We want to make sure that children orphaned by drunk driving accidents have a future. The driver must assume responsibility and provide support for the child.”

The bill amends Puerto Rico’s Penal Code and Law 22 of 2000 on Vehicles and Traffic. It seeks to add a special penalty of restitution to guarantee support for minors who lose their parents in accidents caused by drunk drivers.

Representing Comerío, Corozal, Naranjito and Barranquitas, Santiago Nieves expressed the need to educate the public about the risks of drunk driving and be forceful in punishments.

“More than jail, the duty to support the minor affected by his act will mark the drunk driver all his life,” the lawmaker said.

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