Every year sees new laws going into effect as of January 1. This year, there were quite a few new laws that went into effect, including new criminal law changes and new traffic laws. Some cities and municipalities around the East Bay also had changes to their community regulations. Here are some of the new laws that may affect you.
It is important to be aware of new traffic and criminal laws. Just because you don't know about the new laws does not act as a defense. Getting pulled over for any traffic violation may give the police enough time and interaction to suspect the driver may be impaired by alcohol or drugs, which could lead to a drunk driving arrest, even after a minor traffic violation.
Street Racing and Sideshows
Street racing is already against the law in California. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23109, “a person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest, exhibition of speed, or aid or abet in a speed contest on any highway.” However, now people can face penalties for participating in street sideshows, which can include spinning out in the street. This law will go into effect starting July 1, 2025.
Under Assembly Bill 2565, drivers can face a license suspension for exhibition of street racing, burning out in front of an audience, or revving the engine to show off in front of a crowd. A violation can result in a suspended license for anywhere from 90 days to 6 months. Drivers would also have to get proof of financial responsibility, also known as an SR-22 filing.
Distracted Driving and Points On Your Record
Anyone who drives around the East Bay can easily find drivers who are busy texting or using their phones instead of focusing on the road. However, there may be increased penalties for drivers who are caught while using the phone without a hands-free device. Assembly Bill 47 already went into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the new law, a driver who gets a second violation of distracted driving within 36 months will have a point on their record.
Points on your California driving record could increase your insurance premiums. If you get enough points, it may also lead to a suspended license. Under California Vehicle Code 12810, your license can be suspended or revoked if you get:
- 4 points within 12 months
- 6 points within 24 months
- 8 points within 36 months
Protest Changes for California Cops
State Bill 98 was signed into law to extend the freedom of the press during protests. Law enforcement associations wanted to keep the press out of protest areas based on their concern that journalists would compromise security. However, the new law ensures that journalists will be able to cover protests.
The law prohibits law enforcement from obstructing, detaining, assaulting, or preventing the press from covering demonstrations, marches, protests, and rallies that are engaged primarily in constitutionally protected activity.
Lower Speed Limits in Some Cities
Assembly Bill 43 went into effect October 8, 2021, which allows cities and municipalities to reduce speed limits for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. The bill would allow local authorities to reduce speed limits, not just based on traffic surveys, but also in consideration of pedestrian safety and bicyclist safety.
Were You Arrested for a DUI or Serious Traffic Violation in the East Bay?
If you were arrested for a DUI or serious traffic violation in the East Bay, a strong legal defense can help you keep your license and avoid jail time and fines. Contact your local criminal defense lawyer for legal advice and representation in your criminal case.