Hovering in 2016


We hope that you had a very happy and safe New Years, and your 2016 is off to a great start! Every year, there are TONS of new laws that are put on the books. I'm not going to cover them all, but I'm sending you a few of the more interesting and/or impactful of them to be aware of:

1. Movie Accurate: If you've ever seen the 1989 movie "Back to the Future II", you know that when they travel to the "Future" (aka 2015) that ALL the cool kids are riding hover-boards. I don't know how they predicted this development in modern culture, but hover-boards became so significant last year that there is a new law to regulate them in 2016:

AB604 says that a hover-board rider must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet while riding. Speed limits range from 15 to 35 MPH depending on whether you're riding on a sidewalk, path, street, or some other surface. And local jurisdictions have been given the power to add their own rules re: hover-boards, so check with your local city government for specifics if you plan on hovering in your area.

2. Moving on from the whimsical to the very serious... We feel that this next law is one of the most important and potentially helpful laws that has been put on the books in many years:

AB1014 allows confiscation of firearms for safekeeping if a judge decides that the owner is at risk for violence. Close family, and law enforcement will be able to seek a (GVRO) Gun Violence Restraining Order for various reasons including mental health concerns. If approved, the GVRO will remain in place for one year.

3. This next one effects us all:

SB491 makes it illegal to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. Headsets and safety earplugs are still OK for persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment.

4. Last but not least, a DUI-related law that we deal with daily:

SB61 essentially extends a pilot program (for another year and a half) in four counties including Los Angeles. The program requires DUI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicle. An IID requires them to blow into it and register a blood alcohol reading before starting their car. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has estimated that this pilot program has prevented over 1 million instances of drunk driving since 2010. Legislators will be reviewing a soon to be released DMV study on this program during the extension period to determine whether to continue, expand, or cancel the program.

Thanks for taking a moment to read these new developments in the law. Of course we have paraphrased the laws here, and the full laws are available online. We hope they are helpful. If you ever have any questions about the law or concerns with a friend or a loved one, do not hesitate to call. A few words of advice are always complimentary and our pleasure.

Happy New Year!

Doug Ridley