New state laws that took effect on Jan. 1 – Surfing is officially state sport, no helmets for adult e-scooter riders, pet stores must sell only rescue animals
Published - 01/02/19 - 03:03 PM | 43319 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The new year brings many changes, including new laws addressing everything from surfing to gender identification, to cutbacks on plastic straws and the types of animals that can be sold in pet stores.

Here are a few new laws:

• Dogs, cats and rabbits sold in pet stores are now required to be obtained only from animal shelters or rescue groups.

• People applying for a license or identity card can select their own gender, female, male or non-binary. Those choosing "No binary" will receive a card with an "X" gender category. 

• Surfing has been designated as California’s official state sport.

• Kids meals in most restaurants must now have a milk- or water-based beverage as the default choice and a parent must request a soda for the child.

• People over age 18 will no longer need to use a helmet to use a motorized scooter.

• New rules will dictate how divorcing couples determine custody of the family pet.

• State parks must now make clear on their websites if dogs are allowed.

• Repeat offenders for DUI, or those who receive a first DUI offense and have caused injuries, must install a breathalyzer on their engine ignition for 12 to 48 months.

• Twelve years is now the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court, unless a minor younger than 12 has committed murder or rape.

• A defendant under the age of 16 can no longer be tried as an adult sending them to prison instead of a juvenile detention facility.

• Authorized California car dealers must place a paper plate with a number and expiration date on every vehicle they sell, whether new or used.

• Images of body cameras on police officers, and any other audio recording acquired by a police agency, are required to be disclosed to the public within 45 days after a police shooting or excessive force causes death or injury to a person.

• Courts will no longer be able to suspend, restrict or delay issuing a minor's driver's license for one year for truancy or for being under the guardianship of the state.

• The exemption from smog verification for vehicles that have been purchased new will extend from six to eight years. During the two years of this exemption, the vehicle owner will not have to do the smog check but pay $25. 

• The DMV must include at least one question on 20 percent of knowledge tests (written exams) on traffic laws about California's unsecured load code.

• Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense is prohibited from possessing a firearm for the rest of their lives.

• Gun owners with a concealed carry license must undergo a minimum of eight hours of training, and demonstrate proficiency and safety on the shooting range.

• Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place for breastfeeding that is not a bathroom.

• Restaurants statewide are required to give out single-use straws only upon request of customers. It applies to full-service dining establishments but exempts fast-food restaurants. Restaurants violating the law could be fined $25 daily for violations, or a maximum of $300 per year.

• Cities and counties can now authorize and regulate the sale of homemade foods.

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