35 New Laws Took Effect On December 1st

Lawmen have nearly three dozen new ways to keep crime off the streets as 35 new laws take effect in our state.

These new laws are mostly criminal laws. They range from harsher penalties for repeat DWI offenders to giving gun owners more rights to protect their homes, cars and businesses.

Laura's Law imposes tougher penalties for repeat drunk drivers.

According to the new state law, depending on aggravating factors, a repeat offender could get fined up to $10,000, up from the maximum of $4,000, plus up to 36 months in prison, instead of the maximum of 24 months.

The law was named for Laura Fortenberry. Until she was killed in a car accident in 2010 by a drunk driver who had three previous DWI charges, the 17-year from Gaston County sang in the chorus, played powder puff football and planned to be an FBI agent someday

The new law will also allow for post release monitoring for alcohol consumption.

Another law taking effect Thursday is Ethan's Law. It says if an unborn child dies as a result of the assault on the mother, the suspect can be charged with murder of that unborn baby.

It's a law the Onslow County District Attorney and investigators say would have shaken up the Cesar Laurean murder trial. Maria Lauterbach was eight months pregnant when she was killed.

Investigators say this law will make any case like Laurean's more complete once it's closed.

Ethan's Law is named for the unborn child of Jenna Nielsen, a woman who was stabbed to death in 2007 while she was restocking newspapers outside a Raleigh convenience store.

Governor Bev Perdue signed the bill into law back in April.

The catchy named "Run and You're Done" law means people who speed away from police could lose their car. The law says if a person is charged with "felony speed to elude arrest" their car will be seized and impounded by the sheriff's office. Upon conviction, the car will be sold at auction.

"We hope that it may have the effect to keeping people from wanting to run from the police or highway patrol and engage in a chase," says First Sergent Kevin Rock with the Highway Patrol.

The money earned at the auction of the seized cars will go to county school boards.

One new law comes in response to the Zahra Baker case. It makes it illegal to dismember a body to hide a crime or evidence of an unnatural death.

Parts of Zahra's remains where found in multiple sites around Hickory shortly after her reported disappearance. The 10-year old's step mother, Elisa Baker, pleaded guilty in September to second degree murder. She was sentenced to up to 18 years in prison.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by crazytown Location: greenville on Dec 2, 2011 at 02:29 PM
    They need to make the court system enforce the laws on the books. The court system in pitt county lets drunk after drunk after drunk go. The state is not getting any money from this either, the lawyer's are the ones makeing money. Cop, paid by tax payer arrest drunk, goes down town to magistrate, paid by tax payer, with drunk, drunk hangs out in jail and is baby sat by doc workers, paid for by tax payer, Drunk goes to court, judges, clerk of courts, district attorny, paid for by tax payer, then the judge who used to be a lawyer, "defence attorny" who is buddies with the defence attorny, lets the drunk go!! Defence attorny gets paid 6 to $10,000 dollars, tax payers get nothing and judge gets nice big christmas present from defence attorny. Thats the game like it or not
  • by Luke Location: Chain Gang on Dec 2, 2011 at 02:57 AM
    Wow, 35 new laws? So much for smaller Government. Good ole Republicans, I feel safer already, just can't leave my house or the police might take my car if I don't pull over immediately.
  • by jjbanks Location: williamston on Dec 1, 2011 at 08:23 PM
    how about the cops driving so stupidly they need to slow down i almost got hit and the people with the system yes its illegal but your just mad cause you cant afford it, and the new gun laws ive looked and looked but nothing that you can understand in which we actually need to kick everyone out of the house and start over....
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:37 AM in reply to jjbanks
      What you talking about? You are probably one of the ones that got his system from his girlfriends food stamp money. It's the dumbest thing to be driving around with the metal rattling. You think that sounds good?? It's as stupid as most of these new laws.
  • by ralphie Location: ahoskie on Dec 1, 2011 at 06:01 PM
    the laws of 2011 so far here- today in effect go to page 14 and click the one you want to read- that takes you to how it looked in passage (top left, click the HTML one) http://www.ncleg.net/documentsites/legislativepublications/2011%20Effective%20Dates/2011EffectiveDates.pdf
  • by Coach Location: EddieRhodes on Dec 1, 2011 at 05:56 PM
    This story is worthless without the whole list
    • reply
      by Chris on Dec 13, 2011 at 02:10 PM in reply to Coach
      Exactly coach, don't have a story by just hitting the highlights.
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Dec 1, 2011 at 04:39 PM
    Somebody show me where to find the rest of these 35 new laws while I try to figure out how you can dismember a body without killing that person....which is in itself a crime. NO NEW LAW NEEDED. What a waste of time that one was.
    • reply
      by ralphie on Dec 1, 2011 at 05:47 PM in reply to Clifton
      Clifton- YOU added 'without killing that person' it says a crime to HIDE the dismembered parts to hide the death of a person...
    • reply
      by Audra on Dec 1, 2011 at 07:51 PM in reply to Clifton
      Here's yer sign....
  • by beachbum3 on Dec 1, 2011 at 03:49 PM
    we currently are in need of getting rid of tsome of the existing laws thatwe have on thhe books right now that are so onderous on nthe public citizens at large that they cant even keep up with the existing laws on the books. we are in deep need of getting rid of the current fascist legisture in raliegh if you ask me thank you
  • by Mike on Dec 1, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    Has anybody thought about the "Run and Done" law?Take someone's car(worth$500)got to be stored until trial(maybe 2 yrs with good atty)$10/day storage fee.($7300)Who pays the storage lot? Taxpayer?
  • by DP Location: eastern n c on Dec 1, 2011 at 02:26 PM
    Seems to me one law we need is to outlaw Hoodies aren't all robbers wearing hoodies.
  • by DP Location: eastern n c on Dec 1, 2011 at 02:25 PM
    Seems to me one law we need is to outlaw Hoodies aren't all robbers wearing hoodies.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 07:50 PM in reply to DP
      Yes, because no one else in society should be allowed to keep their ears and head warm. Punish everyone. Great plan.
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