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New California laws for 2009

January 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Freeway signs are reminding drivers that come January 1, 2009, text-messaging while driving will be illegal in California. It follows a similar law requiring hands-free cell phone use while behind the wheel.Violators of the texting law will face an infraction.

Here is a partial list of new laws going into effect in California in 2009:

No-text Law
Writing, sending, or reading a "text-based communication" while driving will be against the law for all drivers in California.

Violating this law is punishable by a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. With the addition of penalty assessments, fines can be more than triple the base fine amount.

New DUI Laws -- Zero tolerance
Any person who is on probation for a DUI convection cannot drive with a blood alcohol level of.01 percent.

Temporary operating permits restricted
The DMV will restrict permits to allow more time to obtain a smog certificate.

Special interest license plates
Gold Star Family special interest license plates will be available to family members who have had family killed in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces during wartime or military operations.

Temporary employees
Wages for employees of temporary services employers shall be paid weekly or daily if the work less than 90 days.

Family and Medical Leave Act
Families who have members who are active in the military are eligible up to 12 weeks of leave if they meet the "qualifying exigencies: short notice deployment, attendance at official military events or activities, arranging or providing childcare, attending school or daycare meetings, handling financial and legal matters, and rest and recuperation visits when the soldier is on leave."

Minimum pay for exempt computer professionals
Computer professionals' hourly rate for 2009 is increased from $36 to $37.94.

Definition of a motorcycle
Deleting the existing weight limitation of 1,500 pounds, removes a separate definition for electrically powered vehicles and will allow fully enclosed 3-wheeled motor vehicles to use the carpool lanes

Unlicensed car dealers
Law-enforcement officers can impound vehicles that are being sold by unlicensed dealers.

Counterfeit Clean Air Stickers
It will be a crime to forge Clean Air Stickers, which are issued to low-emission vehicles and allow the vehicles with these stickers to be driven in carpool lanes.

New Calif. Laws for 2009, further resources:

Calif. Chamber of Commerce

HRCalifornia

Calif. Dept. of Motor Vehicles


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