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New Laws Go Into Effect on 9/1/2011

Just a reminder, in Texas the new laws go into effect on September 1 of the year of a legislative session, which is today.

While there are around 700 new Texas laws which took effect today there are 3 that are of particular interest.

One new Texas law makes it a crime to impersonate someone online without obtaining his or her permission with the intent to harm, defraud, threaten or intimidate. Since this law is new there is no telling how it will be applied, but it certainly is something to be aware of.

Another new law is an example of willingness of Texas politicians to stomp on personal rights to appease the voters. This law allows an officer to get  warrant to take a blood sample if they suspect someone is inebriated an they refuse to give one. The picture I see in my mind is someone held down while repeatedly jabbed with a needle all in the name of  "the public good". Remember, based on the training manuals of the police field sobriety tests are accurate in less than 80% of cases which means 20 people out of a hundred who are arrested based on these are not, in fact, above the legal limit. 

Finally, a driver whose blood-alcohol level is .15 or higher will automatically face a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. The previous charge was a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a six-month jail penalty. The problem is that the Breathalyzers used to make this determination aren't always reliable, as this article on points out. 

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