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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Host of new Tennessee state laws on the books as of July 1

There are nearly 150 new laws taking effect in Tennessee starting July 1.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – (localmemphis.com)– There are nearly 150 new laws taking effect in Tennessee starting July 1.

One of the most talkedabout new laws is hands-free cell phone use while driving. You cannot dialnumbers or check emails or text messages, or hold your phone in your hand,while behind the wheel.

Drivers are allowed to usean earpiece, headphones, or wrist device to talk on the phone while driving. Breakingthis law could cost you $200 bucks. Fines double in school and constructionzones.

Another new state law saysgambling online is okay but still illegal in physical locations.

The March Madness andFantasy Football Freedom Act goes into effect, meaning you can place legal betson your favorite team or sports league under certain circumstances.

The death penalty processcan seem to take a lifetime for victim’s families seeking justice.

A new law would speed upthat process by sending death penalty cases directly to the Tennessee SupremeCourt for review and skipping the Court of Criminal Appeals step.

Another new law helpsconvicted criminals start over with a clean slate. They won’t have to payhundreds of dollars to get their record expunged as long as they complete adiversion program. It’s all part of Tennessee’s criminal justice reform effort.

One bill that’s a bigtalker has the LGBTQ community lashing out at lawmakers. The new law redefinesa “public place” to prohibit indecent exposure as being in locker rooms,restrooms, dressing rooms, or showers designated for multi-person, single-sexuse. Critics claim the law targets transgender people.

A federal judge hastemporarily blocked a Tennessee law that requires online auctioneers to belicensed, but it doesn’t affect some big auction sites like eBay. The blockwill be in place until at least July 11.

Great news for youngstersout there selling lemonade this summer. They don’t have to have a permit orlicense or pay a fee to open a lemonade stand as long as you’re a kid under 18,your stand is on private property with the owner’s permission, and you don’tmake more than $3,000 a year.

New Tennessee legislationwill increase pay supplements for police and firefighters by $200 dollars,provide new equipment and more training, plus help protect elderly and disabledcitizens by strengthening penalties against people who harm them. Also, activeduty firefighters who die from certain cancers or medical conditions will beconsidered a line-of-duty death.

A new law will now extendthe statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases so victims will have moretime to pursue legal action. The new law also strengthens penalties againstpeople who don’t report child abuse.

The next new law clarifiesthat a marriage license cannot be issued to a kid younger than 17. It alsodefines “parent” for the purpose to give legal consent that a minor can getmarried.

Another new Tennessee lawaddresses traffic safety. It prohibits anyone from loitering or conductingbusiness in or close to the median of a state highway. Anyone who is caughtbreaking this law will get a warning ticket, the first time.

There’s also a new statelaw regarding drones. It prohibits dropping items or anything from a drone intoan “open-air” event venue where more than a hundred people are gathered.

Something else interesting to note. Electric scooters, like the ones you see in Midtown and Downtown, are now considered motor vehicles when it comes to driving under the influence. That means you can get a DUI for scooting while drunk.