New laws that will affect drivers

The CHP is alerting drivers to new laws that take effect on Tuesday — the first day of 2013:

–Driving under the influence (AB 2020): Takes away the option of a person arrested on driving under the influence of drugs to submit to a urine test. A suspect previously could take either urine or blood test to determine the drug content of their blood.

–Charter-party carriers of passengers, alcoholic beverages, open containers (AB 45 by Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata): Prohibits underage drinking in charter-party carriers (limos, buses, etc.) and makes the company and driver responsible for letting passengers know. The new law-to-be also requires that a person at least 25 years old be designated and present whenever passengers younger than 21 are on board and alcohol is being transported and that the person be responsible for ensuring the law is followed and for the safety of the underage passengers.

–Electronic wireless communications (AB 1536): Allows drivers to use hands-free technology to talk and text while driving. This requires the use of a device specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send or listen to a text-based communication.

–Financial Responsibility and Insurance (AB 1708): Drivers have option of providing proof of insurance and registration on an electronic device (smartphone, tablet, etc.), when requested by police.

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