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.