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Assemblymember Gipson to Host a Press Conference on New Drunk Driving Legislation to Support Children of Victims

For immediate release:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 17, 2023) --- Today, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), Chair of the California Assembly Democratic Caucus, hosted a press conference to unveil his new legislation, AB-1551, that seeks to improve the lives of children who lose a parent as a result of drunk driving or a hit-and-run. This legislation would offer crucial financial assistance to ensure that these children do not fall behind in life due to losing a parent.

Assemblymember Gipson gathered with representatives from Moms Against Drunk Driving, Los Angeles Walks, and Street Racing Kills in support of his new bill.

“I was joined this morning by many fantastic organizations that have been advocating against impaired and reckless driving for years. I’m proud to have these distinguished organizations stand with me as I introduce my new bill AB-1551, which would mandate that the defendant be responsible for child support if they kill the parent of a minor while driving under the influence,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). “Last year, there were over 1,000 deaths due to drunk driving in California alone. That is 1,000 completely avoidable and senseless deaths.” 

“Nationally, roughly 30 people die a day due to drunk drivers. Read that again, 30 people a day. These deaths occur for no reason other than someone’s irresponsibility, carelessness, selfishness, and utter disregard for others,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). “In this day in age, with the technology we have, there is no reason that anyone should be driving drunk. And if an individual chooses to drive drunk and kills someone, that person needs to be held responsible. People don’t get to go out and kill someone’s mother or father and leave that family destitute. That person owes that family for taking away their loved one, and that child does not deserve to live in poverty due to their irresponsibility.”

“When it comes to DUI/hit and run deaths of parents, the focus of AB 1551, our minds instantly go to the unimaginable heartbreak and physical loss caused by these terrible – and completely avoidable – crimes, but there are also practical and financial concerns that can be nearly as devastating to families. According to a recent study, it costs $24,000 a year to raise a child, and the loss of a parent, especially in California – the 6th most expensive place to live in our nation – can simply break a family. So while those responsible for these senseless deaths can never replace the love and presence of the parent they so violently stole, they can and should, help provide for the children from whose lives they were torn. AB 1551 is not just right, it’s not just fair, it’s justice,” said a representative from Crime Victims United. 

Overall assembly Bill 1551 seeks to reduce the amount of DUI and hit and run accidents that take place in California. Barring that, it seeks to hold drunk drivers accountable and ensure that families aren’t financially ruined over one person’s neglect.