A new year means new driving laws

Staff reportsDecember 21, 2012 

On Jan. 1, several laws involving motorists go into effect.

The laws are as follows:

• AB2020 — A person arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence will no longer have the choice of taking a urine or blood test.

• AB45 — Underage drinking in charter-party carriers (limousines, buses, vans, etc.) will be prohibited and a person at least 25 years old must be present when there are passengers younger than 21.

• AB1536 — Motorists using hands-free technology while driving will be required to have a voice-operated hands-free device to dictate, send or listen to text messages.

• AB1708 — Drivers will have the option of providing registration and insurance information via an electronic device (smartphones, tablets, etc.)

• SB1047 — The California Highway Patrol will activate a "Silver Alert" upon request if a person 65 or older is reported missing.

• AB2189 — Driver's license applicants who are not eligible for a Social Security number will be eligible to receive a driver's license if the person can prove they have federal authorization to be in the United States.

• AB2489 — The penalty for altering, repositioning or obscuring the readability of license plates will be set at $250.

• AB1452 — Hospitals, clinics and birthing centers will be required to provide information on child safety seat requirements, installation and inspection to parents and caregivers

• AB1404 — It will be illegal to knowingly distribute or sell previously deployed airbags.

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