New North Carolina Laws Day

Ken AshfordCrime, Local Interest2 Comments

Being the beginning of another fiscal year, about 100 new laws go into effect in the State of North Carolina today.  They're all listed here (PDF).

But just so you know, here are a few:

  • Local governments get to regulate golf carts now. Phew.  Our long national nightmare is… uh… over?
  • It's now illegal to sell novelty lighters. (A "novelty lighter" is defined as a lighter which is designed to look like a "cartoon charactor, toy, gun, watch, musical instrument, vehicle, animal, food or beverage, or similar articles, or that plays musical notes" — in other words, a lighter that might attract kids,  A regular lighter with a logo, however, doesn't count)  
  • "Truth in Music Performances" Law: It's now illegal to give a live musical performance pretending to be somebody else (e.g., Elvis) unless you make it clear that it's a "tribute".
  • You can no longer object to the location of an ABC store, if the municipality allowed the store to be located there after a public hearing.
  • North Carolina will conduct a swine flu-related study to see if it needs to change the wild boar hunting season.
  • Municipalities can take vehicles abandoned on public property to the junkyard if the vehicle is more than five years old and worth less than $500 (it used to be $100).
  • It's still illegal for motor vehicles to stop on a highway in a way which impedes traffic, but now there's an exception for garbage trucks collecting garbage.  Lovely.
  • Beaver traps with a mouth greater than 7.5 inches and less than 26 inches can only be placed in water where beavers hang out. [Insert your own joke here]
  • Municipalities can go after chronic violators of public nuisance ordinances by serving a single notice.
  • It's now easier for residential areas off of state roads to get speed bumps put in.
  • Before, stray dogs and cats which bit a human could be tested for rabies and if needed, euthanized; now, it applies to stray ferrets as well.
  • Safety rules which applied to skiers also apply to snowboarders and other winter sports people.
  • It's still illegal to drive while watching TV or a computer screen, but GPS screens don't count.  Neither do factory-installed video screens which provide weather or radio information.  Glad we got that straightened out.
  • Public wine-testing events were always legal (with a permit); now beer-tasting events are legal (with a permit) as well.  NASCAR enthusiasts rejoice.
  • If you want to be a licensed marriage or family therapist in NC, they have to run a criminal background check on you now beforehand.
  • Dealers who buy gold or other precious metals from the public have to be licensed. That law is probably a fallout from the scandal.

Big intrusive government bastards…. messing with my beaver traps and boar hunting.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic, there are two other notable new criminal laws on the books:

  • It's now illegal — a Class 1 misdemanor — to vandalize a Port-a-potty (NOTE: Actually, this law isn't effective until December 1, 2009, so you have a couple months of scot-free Port-a-potty destruction ahead of you, if you are so inclined).
  • TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS ILLEGAL — Okay, this doesn't start until December 1, 2009, but don't do it anyway.  I'm driving NC roads…