August brings new laws to Louisiana

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 10:06am

More than 500 new laws go into effect this month, ranging from road rules to abortion regulations and sex offender laws. They were all passed during the state's last legislative session, which ended in June.

While some of the changes will have relatively minor impacts on Louisianas (like March's new designation as Irish heritage month), others may play a more prominent role. That includes big changes for the state's driver's license policies. Beginning Wednesday, every new driver must have at least 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training before they can take the road exam.

That change is meant to cut down on crashes by inexperienced drivers. "With them having that extra training and that extra classroom time, they learn different tactics and things like that, to help them maintain the vehicle instead of panicking and jerking the wheel, and things like that," said Trooper Matt Harris of Troop G.

Other new laws to know? The roadside sale of animals is now banned, to cut down on puppy mill activity. Abortion will be illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy. You'll have to buckle up if you drive an SUV. Plus, all sex offenders must let their social media contacts know they've been convicted of a sex crime, just as they inform their neighbors when they move into a new area.

For a full list of the new laws, visit the legislative website. http://

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