New­est state laws tar­get driv­ers, drug users, hunters

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY ALAN SUDERMAN

RICH­MOND | New state laws go­ing into ef­fect Satur­day could im­pact how Vir­gini­ans drive, what kind of al­co­hol they buy, and what they wear when they go hunt­ing.

This year’s leg­isla­tive ses­sion lacked any land­mark com­pro­mises be­tween the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Gen­eral As­sem­bly and Demo­cratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

In­stead, law­mak­ers fo­cused on ad­just­ing the state bud­get to give public em­ploy­ees raises, par­tic­u­larly law en­force­ment of­fi­cials.

Still, there are new laws go­ing into ef­fect July 1 that could af­fect Vir­gini­ans’ daily lives in ways big and small.

Here’s a sam­pling:

Driv­ing too slowly in left lane

Driv­ing in the left lane on state high­ways with­out a good rea­son now could re­sult in a $100 fine.

The bill’s spon­sor, Del­e­gate Is­rael O’Quinn, said he wants to pre­vent peo­ple from driv­ing too slowly in the left lanes, which he said en­dan­gers law en­force­ment and spurs road rage.

Opi­oid cri­sis

The opi­oid cri­sis grip­ping Vir­ginia’s neigh­bors has made its way into the Old Do­min­ion, and law­mak­ers made ad­dress­ing the ris­ing num­ber of over­dose deaths a pri­or­ity, pass­ing laws that al­low for a nee­dle-ex­change pro­gram and help new moth­ers ad­dicted to opioids to more eas­ily get treat­ment.

Ever­clear

State-owned liquor stores now will be able to sell a high-proof grain al­co­hol that is “with­out dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter, aroma, taste or color,” which in­cludes the well-known brand Ever­clear.

Univer­sity of­fi­cials had voiced con­cern about binge drink­ing, but pro­po­nents of the law noted that Ever­clear can be pur­chased legally in most other states and is of­ten used in cook­ing.

Fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion

State law now makes it il­le­gal to per­form a fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion, or for a parent or guardian to con­sent to one for their daugh­ter. Gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion, also known as fe­male cir­cum­ci­sion or cut­ting, has been con­demned by the U.N. and out­lawed in many parts of the world. But the prac­tice is com­mon for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Mid­dle East.

Driver’s li­cense re­vo­ca­tion

Adults con­victed of pos­sess­ing mar­i­juana no longer will au­to­mat­i­cally have their driver’s li­cense sus­pended for six months, but in­stead be re­quired to per­form 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Blaze pink

Hunters are no longer re­quired to wear blaze orange, but can in­stead wear blaze pink if they so pre­fer. The new law is de­signed to en­cour­age more women to hunt.

Dogs and cats

Cities and coun­ties can now of­fer life­time pet li­censes, which can­not cost more than $50.

Hair-re­moval reg­u­la­tions

Laser hair re­moval now will have to be per­formed by a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner or some­one trained and su­per­vised by one, un­less peo­ple do it at home with their own equip­ment.

The law’s spon­sor said the leg­is­la­tion was prompted by a con­stituent who said a jan­i­tor was re­mov­ing hair at a spa.

Scalpers’ rights

Del­e­gate David Albo, a self-de­scribed “metal head,” said he brought the Ticket Re­sale Rights Act af­ter he bought tick­ets for an Iron Maiden show, then couldn’t go and wasn’t able to re­sell them.

The law pro­hibits ticket sellers from us­ing sys­tems that pre­vents pur­chasers from law­fully re­selling tick­ets on the in­ter­net plat­form of their choice. It also pro­hibits in­di­vid­u­als from be­ing de­nied ad­mis­sion be­cause they pur­chased a sec­ond­hand ticket.

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