New Laws in Effect July 1

July 1, 2019 will usher in nearly 150 new state laws, pertaining to a wide range of public issues from a ban on cell phone use in moving vehicles to several new statutes concerning human trafficking. While many of these laws are procedural, or apply primarily to criminals, several of them will have effects on the daily lives of all Tennesseans.

Here are some of the new laws that might have the greatest effect on the average Tennessee resident:

Traffic Safety – As enacted, prohibits a person from physically holding or supporting, with any part of the person’s body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle; imposes other similar restrictions on activities such as texting; creates certain exceptions. – Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 10 and Title 55, Chapter 8.

Criminal Offenses – As enacted, prohibits the dropping of items or substances from unmanned aircraft (drones) into an open-air event venue where more than 100 persons are gathered for a ticketed event; violation is Class C misdemeanor. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 13.

Criminal Offenses – As enacted, increases the penalty for using an unmanned aircraft over a critical infrastructure facility without the business operator’s consent from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class E felony; adds communication service facilities to the types of facilities that are considered critical infrastructure facilities. – Amends TCA Title 39.

Marriage – As enacted, clarifies that a marriage license may not be issued for an applicant under 17 years of age; defines “parent” for purposes of parental consent to marriage of a minor; deletes obsolete requirement that marriage license application of a minor be mailed to the minor’s parent and held for three days before issuance of license. – Amends TCA Title 36, Chapter 3.

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