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New regulations touch teens, bus drivers and puppy millsPosted Tuesday, June 30, 2009, at 3:31 PM
Every July 1, new laws go on the books.
This year is no exception.
The state has a host of new laws dealing with teen drivers using cell phones, hours of driving and driving with passengers.
Violation of the cell phone ban on drivers under the age of 18, could result in a $500 fine.
School bus drivers also face up to a $500 fine for failing to check their buses at the end of their routes for children left on the bus.
There is also a new law that grants school teachers "qualified immunity" from lawsuits related to disciplinary action and notifies teachers that the state attorney general will defend them if they are sued.
*House Bill 1462 grants teachers "qualified immunity" from lawsuits related to disciplinary action and notifies teachers that the state attorney general will defend them if they are sued.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he hopes the new law will discourage school districts from settling cases before lawsuits are filed.
Other new law effective Wednesday, include:
*Prison terms are increased for anyone who murders or attempts to murder a pregnant woman and causes the loss of her unborn child.
Under current Indiana law, prosecutors are allowed to file murder charges if the mother is at least seven months pregnant, even if the fetus isn't yet viable outside the womb. That law allows for a prison sentence of two to eight years, which supporters said wasn't enough.
The new law allows six to 20 years of additional prison time for people convicted of attempted murder, murder or felony murder of a mother if they cause the loss of an unborn child. The new law allows the same prison sentence if only the unborn child dies.
*The Silver Alert law addresses concerns related to Missing Endangered Adults over the age of 18. A request must be recommended by the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction and must be received within a reasonable amount of time of the disappearance considering overall facts and circumstances surrounding each individual disappearance, to ensure that the alerts issued are timely and effective. The law enforcement agency, through its own investigation must: Verify the disappearance and eliminate alternative explanations for the disappearance; Validate the mental impairment through a credible medical authority; and for a Statewide alert, a vehicle must be involved.
*The state's puppy mills will be now be regulated and inspected for signs of animal abuse.
All this talk about new laws prompted me to do an Internet search at www.dumblaws.com for some unusual Indiana laws that are still on the books across the state.
It's funny how this antiquated laws remains on the books and don't change as times evolve.
Did you know that no one may catch a fish with his bare hands?
Or, in Indiana:
*Men are prohibited from standing in a bar.
*It is against the law to pass a horse on the street.
*It is illegal for a liquor store to sell cold soft drinks or milk.
*Grocery stores may not sell any type of cold liquor.
*Smoking in the state legislature building is banned, except when the legislature is in session.
*You are not allowed to carry a cocktail from the bar to a table.
*One may only throw a stone at a bird in self-defense.
*Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide.
*Anyone 14 or older who profanely curses, damns or swears by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be fined one to three dollars for each offense, with a maximum fine of $10 per day.
*It is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.
*A man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17.
*Drinks on the house are illegal.
*Drinking from your own bottle in a bar can lead to your arrest.
*"Spiteful gossip" and "talking behind a person's back" are illegal.
*State government officials who engage in private duels can be dismissed from their post.
*Mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.
Around the Hoosier state there are also some quirky laws on the books.
In South Bend, it is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette.
No one may spit on the sidewalk in Terre Haute.
In Beech Grove, it is forbidden to eat watermelon in the park.
It is illegal for barbers in Elkhart to threaten to cut off kid's ears.
In Auburn, it is illegal to bike, roller-skate, skateboard, or inline skate in a commercially zoned area. For these offenses, there is a fine of no more than $5 or the impounding of one's bicycle or roller device for a period not to exceed 30 days.
And in Gary, it is illegal within four hours of eating garlic, for a person to enter a movie house, theater, or ride a public streetcar
Wow, there must not be very many Italians or Cajuns living in Gary.
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