LAW REVIEW: California’s new laws for 2001 | SierraSun.com
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LAW REVIEW: California’s new laws for 2001

Jim Porter, Sierra Sun

The start of the new millennium marked the date more than 1,000 new laws became effective in California. Starting with the most important:

ICE CREAM TRUCKS

Ice cream trucks must be equipped with signs warning that children may run out into the street trying to get an ice cream cone. The law prohibits ice cream trucks from selling ice cream on a road where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph, within 100 feet of such a road and in a spot where the vendor does not have an unobstructed view for 200 feet in both directions.

This means the driver puts up a “closed” sign at every curve! Thank you, Senator Soto.

CROSSWALKS

It is now unlawful to unnecessarily stop a vehicle in a manner that causes the vehicle to block the crosswalk. I would like to see them try that in the big cities where they block the intersection and the crosswalk. It will cost you $100 if you overtake a vehicle in an occupied crosswalk.

CHILD RESTRAINTS

The fines for not having your children under the age of 7 properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system are increased.

DUI PENALTIES

The court may require a person convicted of a first DUI offense to install an ignition interlock device; and unless the court deems it inappropriate, requires a person who pleads guilty or no contest for reckless driving, causing bodily injury, refusing a blood test, or other reasons, in lieu of the original (DUI) charge, to have an ignition interlock device.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY

Provides that the community property of a husband and wife, when expressly declared in a deed to be community property with the right of survivorship, shall pass to the survivor upon the death of one of the spouses without administration.

JURY DUTY

Eliminates compensation for a jurist’s first day of service, but increases compensation for the second and succeeding days to $15. Breast-feeding mothers may postpone their jury service for one year. Attorneys may not remove a prospective juror based upon any assumption that the prospective juror is biased merely because of that juror’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and now, sexual orientation.

AUTO ACCIDENTS

While statements of fault at the time of an accident are admissible in court, a statement or benevolent gesture expressing sympathy relating to the pain, suffering or death of a person involved in an accident and made to that person or person’s family is inadmissible as evidence of admission of liability in a court case.

DNA TESTING

Several new laws went into effect broadening the use of DNA testing. One law gives inmates greater access to genetic testing to try to prove their innocence. Another measure virtually eliminates the statute of limitations in rape cases where a DNA match identifies the rapist. A third law permits the DNA of certain criminal suspects, not just convicts, to be checked against the state’s database of genetic evidence from unsolved crimes.

DISABLED ACCESS

Requires all building structures and facilities that are leased or rented by any city, county or state government to be made accessible to persons with disabilities.

LAWS AVAILABLE ONLINE

For the text of these and other bills, their legislative histories and chapter numbers, check the Office of Legislative Counsel’s web site at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter/Simon, with offices in Truckee and Reno. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or at the firm’s Web site, http://www.portersimon.com


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