October 1 is the normal day for new Maryland laws to take effect. These are the laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the last legislative session.
And a slew of interesting laws do take effect today. Here is a rundown. Future blog posts will expound on some of more interesting of these laws. As always, the devil is in the details!
- Easier Divorce Laws – this is by the far the one which will have most impact on the practice of law. You no longer need the one year separation to get a divorce in Maryland IF you have no minor children in common and you resolve your divorce with a separation agreement. We will have a longer post on the details of this law Monday.
- Shielding Your Criminal Record – You will now be allowed to keep private certain non violent misdemeanors. This law is designed to help people with minor criminal records get jobs. We will have a longer post on the details of this law coming soon.
- Higher Speed Limits? – The State Highway Administration is empowered to raise the speed limit to 70 mph in certain locations. The first is I-68 in Western Maryland. They will study if other areas are safe for this increase. Don’t hold your breath living in Southern Maryland for a speed increase any time soon. We don’t have any roads that qualify.
- Leave Your Car Unattended & Running – You can leave your car running and unattended if you have a remote ignition and the car is locked on private property. This is for all of you who like to pre-warm your car in the winter months.
- Stronger DUI penalties – If you are drunk and involved in a deadly crash, you will have your license suspended automatically for 6 months instead of the old rule of 45 days.
- Prevent Heroin Overdose Deaths – Maryland made it easier to get Naxolone, which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose.
- Other laws – Laws on sexual harrassment are now extended to interns, anyone applying for a corrections officer job must now pass a polygraph, the police are going to issue alerts for hit and run drivers, and social services can more easily put a kid in foster care if their family is neglecting them or failing to shield them from abuse.