Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New laws to take effect July 1

More than 4,000 bills were introduced during the legislative session on Tennessee's Capitol Hill over the last two years, but only a fraction of them officially become law on Tuesday, July 1. Bills about budget cuts, cable TV competition and long-term care received plenty of attention this year. Many other bills, like new sentencing options for judges in DUI cases, did not get that kind of attention. Mothers Against Drunk Driving pushed through a measure where drunken driving offenders can now be ordered to listen to stories from DUI victims. "The stories that they hear are absolutely gut-wrenching you will hear a father talk about the loss of his son or a mother talk about the loss of her daughter or her nephew," said Laura Dial of MADD's Middle Tennessee chapter. As a condition of his DUI sentence and probation earlier this year, state lawmaker Rob Briley agreed to participate in what MADD calls a "victim impact panel." Dial said 30 to 50 offenders take part monthly in its Middle Tennessee program. The group hopes judges in other parts of the state will take advantage of the program. Click HERE to view a complete list of the laws to take effect Tuesday.

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