• Top ten new laws affecting teens (and parents) in 2011

    Date: 01.05.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Many states have added new laws concerning teens and/or parents which went into effect on January 1, 2011. Here is a list of the top 10 new laws affecting teens:

    1. Fake Facebook profiles beware. Making it a new crime to harass, cyberbully or defraud another person on the Internet, California is imposing harsh penalties for online impersonation.

    2. Smoking incense isn’t ‘dope’, or legal, in these states. Illinois is now one of at least a dozen states to outlaw the possession, sale or use of synthetic marijuana like Spice or K2. Several cities and municipalities in other states also have banned the substance.

    3. Sext education. Illinois and Connecticut have added sexting laws to their books. Minors sending, receiving or obtaining nude or semi-nude photos will face misdemeanor charges and consequences including court supervision, community service and counseling.

    4. Teens can give back by giving blood. A new law in Michigan allows 16 year olds to donate blood if they get a parent to sign a consent form. Morgan Doyle became the first 16 year old to take advantage of the new law and stated, “It feels good when you save somebody’s life, or could possibly.”

    Photo by Incase (Flickr)

    5.  Teens don’t let parents RIDE drunk. It is now a crime in Illinois for parents to allow their teens with a learner’s permit to be the designated driver. Sorry buzzed parents, but a drunk adult driver cannot be the ride-along supervisor, so you’ll have to fork out the money for a cab.

    6. Preventing distracted teen drivers. Graduated licensing systems that apply to drivers under 18 have been in effect in a number of states with Michigan and Louisiana being the most recent additions. These laws set a curfew on the hours teens can drive (for example, no driving between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.) and limit the number of non-family members under the age of 18 riding in the car with them. There are exceptions such as teens driving past the curfew who are going to/from work.

    7. Parent impersonators watch out. An adult who falsely represents to a tattoo or body piercing business as the parent or legal guardian of a minor for the purpose of providing parental consent to a body piercing will be guilty of a misdemeanor in Illinois.

    8. Underage drinking is given a pass. In response to the tragic death of a high school student who died from alcohol poisoning when his friends feared calling the police, California has passed this law providing immunity from prosecution to underage drinkers who call 911 on behalf of themselves or their passed out/intoxicated friends for medical treatment.

    9. Being the ‘cool mom’ isn’t so cool. California became one of approximately 35 states to have a “social host” law. Any adult who provides alcohol to underage drinkers is responsible for any resulting property damage or personal injury.

    Photo by Alex Grant

    10. Don’t be a fool, get your kid to school. Following in the steps of some other states, California is holding parents of elementary and middle schoolers responsible for missing extensive amounts of school. Parents can be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine and even jail time.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    7 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Alicia Jordan
      Wed, 05 Jan 2011 at 11:40

      Top ten new laws affecting teens (and parents) in 2011 | Askthejudge: A new law in Michigan allows 16 year olds … http://bit.ly/eYcxIR

    • Askthejudge.info
      Wed, 05 Jan 2011 at 04:14

      Check out these new 2011 laws affecting teens and parents. CA teens – don't be afraid to call 911 for passed out… http://fb.me/BfPC8y3j

    • Askthejudge.info
      Wed, 05 Jan 2011 at 04:44

      @aliden123 Thanks for the tweet. Top ten new laws affecting teens (and parents) in 2011 http://bit.ly/eYcxIR

    • Elizabeth Bennett
      Wed, 05 Jan 2011 at 04:46

      RT @ask_the_judge Check out these new 2011 laws affecting teens and parents. CA teens – don't be afraid to call 911 http://fb.me/BfPC8y3j

    • FreeSpiritPublishing
      Thu, 06 Jan 2011 at 07:17

      #Parents, #teens, and anyone impersonating either of these:
      10 new laws in 2011 teens need to know about: http://bit.ly/dNu23F

    • Susanne Mitchell
      Sun, 23 Jan 2011 at 07:39

      http://www.askthejudge.info/top-ten-new-laws-affecting-teens-and-parents-in-2011/8260/

    • Deborah Young
      Sat, 02 Feb 2013 at 02:20

      hi judge tom my name is Deb and i have a runaway daughter who is only thirteen the laws in australia are hard to understand as she is aloud to leave home and no authorities will make here return.As the laws in Australia say that I am responsible for my teenagers behaviour up until the age of 18 even if the teen runsaway. Please Help i dont understand its a bit contradictive.THANKYOU Kind regards Deb Young
      Dear Deborah: Considering you are in Australia, we suggest you either contact your local police department or juvenile court for further clarification of the law. You can find out whether or not you should bring your daughter’s status to the court’s attention and try to get the court to intervene. We hope your daughter returns home soon for her sake and yours. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

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