Important New Laws Take Effect in 2010
By State Representative Kim Thatcher,
Nearly 500 new laws take effect this month as a result of action taken by the 2009 Legislature. Here is a list of some of the more notable changes in state statute:
“¢ Cell Phones: it’s now illegal to talk, text or dial by holding a cell phone while driving. $142 minimum ticket.
“¢ Metal Theft: several new provisions to prevent metal theft including requiring a state certificate to transport scrap metal.
“¢ Menu Labels: chain restaurants must post nutritional information about their menu items.
“¢ Puppy Mills: breeders can’t have more than 50 sexually intact dogs and there are other changes to deal with harsh conditions found in some puppy mills.
“¢ DUII: if you’re caught drinking and driving with a blood alcohol content over .15 the fine will be $2,000.
“¢ Rafting: you must wear a life jacket if you’re in a boat or rafting on a class three river.
“¢ Vending Machines: cigarettes are banned from vending machines where children may be present.
“¢ Auto Repair: body shops must provide written estimate before fixing your car.
“¢ ATV: anyone under 16 has to wear restraints on class one and two off road vehicles. Those under 18 must wear a helmet on any class of ATV not registered with DMV.
“¢ Work Meetings: new ban on employer mandated meetings that deal with politics, religion or union issues.
“¢ Pregnant Women: increased penalties if you assault or kill a woman who is pregnant.
“¢ Disabled Parking: you must provide DMV with a doctor’s note every time you renew a disabled parking permit.
“¢ Defibrillators: automated external defibrillators now required in any building over 50,000 square feet where more than 25 people gather on a daily basis to help prevent heart attacks. Schools are exempt.
“¢ Electronic Waste: it’s illegal to dump televisions, monitors, and computers in the trash.