Sunday, January 3, 2010

New California Laws include DUI interlock measures effective 2010

Drivers, school children, homeowners and everyone else should know about. Following is a partial list with a synopsis of each law that takes effect in 2010.

California DUI drivers

Assembly Bill 91 establishes a pilot program in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare that will run from July 1 through Jan. 1, 2016. The program will require drivers convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for a prescribed amount of time before they can have their driving privileges reinstated.

California DUI driver options

Effective July 1, Senate Bill 598 will require the Department of Motor Vehicles to advise second-time and third-time misdemeanor DUI offenders of the following options: get a restricted driver's license that would allow driving after a 90-day suspension period after a second conviction, or a six-month suspension period for a third conviction if the violation only involves alcohol.

Offenders must enroll in a DUI program and install and keep ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.

Move Over, Slow Down'

Senate Bill 159 removes the Jan. 1 sunset for a state law that requires a person driving on a freeway to change lanes or slow down when approaching in a lane that is immediately adjacent to a stationary, authorized emergency vehicle that displays emergency lights, or a stationary tow truck that displays flashing amber warning lights.

Caltrans, too

Also effective Jan. 1, Senate Bill 240 adds marked Caltrans vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights to the "Move Over, Slow Down" law.

Wired for TV

Assembly Bill 62 allows a person to drive a vehicle with a television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal, as long as the equipment is designed, operated and configured so that the driver cannot view it while driving.

City, county road workers protected

County and city road workers, their contractors and volunteers, and Caltrans contractors are now protected under Assembly Bill 561 from assault and battery while working on roads, alongside the similar law now protecting highway workers.

Charter bus restrictions tightened

Assembly bill 636 requires the Public Utilities Commission to permanently revoke a charter party carrier's authority to operate, or permanently bar it from receiving a permit or certificate, if the carrier operates a bus without a permit, if it operates a bus with a suspended permit, if it has been cited for three or more insurance violations in two years, if it has one or more unregistered buses, or if it knowingly employs a driver whose license doesn't meet state requirements for bus drivers.

The new law also prohibits officers, directors or owners of charter bus services who have been barred from getting a permit or had their operating authority revoked from getting a permit with a different charter service.

Drivers who operate buses without the proper license will also have their privilege to operate any type of bus revoked for five years.

Toll, please

Assembly Bill 628 will allow bridge toll collectors to use a pay-by-plate toll system, where drivers are identified by their license plate and billed, or the toll is deducted from an Automatic Vehicle Identification account.

The law also says it is evidence of a violation if a driver passes a toll crossing without cash in the right amount, a transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a valid AVI account, or a valid license plate.

Have a seat, or not

Senate Bill 527 allow a person to ride a bicycle without a seat, as long as the bicycle was designed by the manufacturer to be ridden without a seat.