If you're caught tossing a pop can out your car window, it's going to cost you.
Beginning Monday, the minimum fine for littering increases from $25 to $299. The increased fine is just one of the hundreds of new laws passed by the 1991 Legislature that take effect on Monday.The new laws run the gamut of whimsical changes, such as designating coal as the state's official rock, to serious legal issues, such as criminalizing spousal rape. Utah was one of only four states where spousal rape was not covered in the criminal code.
The most controversial legislation passed by the 1991 Legislature, an abortion law considered the most restrictive in the nation, also takes effect Monday - at least on paper.
The law, which was amended during a special session of the Legislature last week, won't be enforced pending the outcome of a challenge in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Most of the 299 bills passed by Utah lawmakers become official 60 days after the end of the general session. Because the 60-day mark falls on a Sunday, the laws will take effect on Monday.
- Cars parked in handicapped parking spaces may be impounded.
- Anyone found guilty of influencing a juror, is subject to a prison sentence of zero to five years.
- License plates and vehicle registrations will cost more.
- Sixteen- and 17-year-olds now have to wait until they're 18 to marry, unless they have parental consent.
- Cruelty to dogs and cats becomes a punishable offense.
- Criminal convictions of teachers cannot be expunged from judicial records.
- Optometrists can prescribe eye drops and treat minor ailments.
- Hunters who don't have written permission to hunt on land posted "no trespassing" can lose their hunting licenses.
- A parent who fails to pay child support or violates custody orders can be sentenced to community service or ordered into counseling.
- An increased number of private club licenses will be available.
- Golfers will be allowed to drink beer on golf courses.
- "Drug-free" zones are expanded to include shopping malls, sports arenas and other areas where minors congregate.
- The Division of Family Services establishes a statewide network of volunteers to assist victims of domestic violence.
- Law enforcement agencies may use "photo radar" to identify speeders under limited circumstances.
- Crime victims will be notified upon the release of their perpetrators from prison.
- Shoplifters face civil penalties regardless if criminal charges are filed.
- Lobbyists must report gifts worth at least $100 to legislators or their immediate families as well as report the total amount of money they spend lobbying.