TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A series of new laws, regulations and rules approved by the Indiana legislature are set to take effect July 1.
Among those are two new measures meant to encourage safe behavior around alcohol.
One such measure, the state's new Lifeline Law, provides immunity from some alcohol-related charges (consumption of alcohol by a minor, transportation of alcoholic beverages, etc.) to 911 callers trying to help another person during a medical emergency.
The other alcohol-related measure narrows the definition of public intoxication to cases in which a person poses a threat to himself or others, cases in which a person is harassing others or cases in which a person is causing a nuisance.
State Rep. Bruce Borders, a Republican from Jasonville, said the change stems from a case in which a woman was arrested for public drunkenness because she was riding drunk in a car driven by a sober, designated driver.
"What we were telling people with the way the law was before was that ‘even if you do attempt to be responsible and hand your keys over to someone else, we can still nail you,'" Borders said. "Now what we're saying is ‘You did what was responsible, you turned your keys over to someone else, and we're not going to nail you.'"
A change to child support rules in Indiana also takes effect July 1. Under that change, parents have a duty to pay child support for children up to 19 years of age, down from the previous 21 years of age.
Meanwhile, the state's new smoking ban is also set to take effect July 1.
That law prohibits smoking in some public places, but provides exemptions for some bars, casinos, fraternal clubs, tobacco shops and hookah bars. Initially, the new law drew criticism from some who said it wasn't strict enough and from others who said it limited personal liberty and property rights.
To see a list of laws to take effect July 1, as well as those enacted earlier in the year, click here .
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