Bentley’s Law: Action Against Drunk Drivers


ST. LOUIS, MI (Ivanhoe Newswire) — On average, 37 people die in drunken driving crashes every day in the United States. That’s one person every 39 minutes. But notoriously, the person driving intoxicated gets little jail time and small fines. Now, one grandmother who lost her family to a drunk driver two years ago is making sure a new bill deters people from driving under the influence, Bentley’s Law

Cecilia Williams didn’t expect her retirement would be spent in a little shed in her backyard, homeschooling and raising her four young grandsons: Jace, Mason, Camden, and Bentley.

“A drunk driver rear-ended them, um, going a hundred and I believe it was 109 miles an hour,” shared Williams.

Mason and Bentley lost their mom, dad, and baby brother.

“The thing people don’t understand is when you lose your child,” spoke Williams.

Cecilia’s sadness and anger motivated her to make sure the lives of her son Cordell, his finance Lacey, and their four-month-old son Cordell meant something.

“I knew exactly what I wanted and that was to create Bentley’s Law to make drunk drivers or those who drive under the influence, financially responsible for the children that they leave behind because of their actions,” said Williams.

Cecilia first tried to get the Child maintenance law passed in her home state of Missouri. While tied up in bureaucracy, she partnered with mothers against drunk driving. Now two years later Bentley’s Law or a version of it, has been introduced in more than 20 states. Tennessee was the first state to pass it, followed by Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas.

“The trauma is unending as there is no justice because their loved ones will never be coming back. But this provides a sense of financial restitution and holds the offender accountable,” says Tess Rowland, the MADD, National President

“At some point, somebody has to show people what you did. You took a family; you took parents away from children for no reason. None whatsoever. I made this bill because I want to change. The whole world now knows my family and they know every single beautiful victim who should be here today and should have not died.” shared Williams.

Bentley’s Law is not only having an impact in the United States. It’s also passed in Guam and South Korea. The driver that killed Cecelia’s family, David Thurby, was charged with three counts of DWI. He was convicted of three counts of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and received eight years behind bars. He will be free before Mason and Bentley become teenagers. If you would like to get a version of Bentley’s Law in your state, has a form to fill out to send to your state lawmakers.


Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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