Sacto 9-1-1
December 31, 2012
Five new driving rules take effect for 2013 in California

Here are five new laws pertaining to driving in California that go into effect with the new year.

The California Highway Patrol explained the new laws in a press release:

Driving under the influence: Requires that a person who has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of drugs must submit to a blood test and can no longer opt for a urine test. Before the change, a driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs could opt for either a urine or blood test. Blood tests, some experts claim, are better at determining if drugs are in a person's system.

Typically, officers start with a breath test when they suspect someone of driving under the influence.

Financial responsibility and insurance: Drivers will have the option of providing proof of insurance and registration on an electronic device, such as a smart phone, when such proof is requested by an officer.

High-occupancy toll lanes: Allows cars with a clean-air vehicle sticker free rides on carpool lanes that are converted to toll lanes.

Emergency services - seniors: Similar to Amber Alerts, the CHP can activate "Silver Alerts" if a person over age 65 is reported missing to a law enforcement agency and certain criteria are met, such as the person is in danger due to age, health, mental or physical disability.

Automated traffic enforcement systems: The new law establishes statewide standards for installation and operation of red light enforcement cameras.

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