New Maryland Laws to Know About

On October 1st, 2018, dozens of new Maryland laws were put into effect. These new regulations cover a broad range of topics from law enforcement to public school systems to public safety. Some of these laws may have serious implications for the citizens of Maryland, and it is important to understand how these laws may impact your life. Here, attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein provides an overview of significant laws that you should know about.

Road and Motor Vehicle Laws

Several new additions have been made to existing Maryland road and motor vehicle laws. Most significantly, the “Move Over” law has been expanded to include waste and recycling trucks as well as transportation, service and utility vehicles. In addition, a disability placard issued to a disabled individual by the Motor Vehicle Administration will remain valid until the death of the holder.

Significant changes concerning motor vehicle regulations include the ability for the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to provide copies of birth certificates if they already exist on record with the Maryland Department of Health. In addition, those with a learner’s instructional permit, and who are of a certain age, can now take a provisional driver’s test earlier than they could previously, depending on certain circumstances. This new legislation has the ability to impact many young drivers in Maryland.

Law Enforcement and Crime Laws

New law enforcement, crime and correctional legislation includes better care for inmates and stricter laws concerning the distribution of tobacco products. For instance, pregnant inmates must now receive additional care from their correctional facility as well as access to child assistance programs.

Stricter laws regarding domestic abuse have also been put in place, with victims of domestic violence now able to receive permanent protective orders. Also, law enforcement officers can now issue a civil citation to an individual who distributed certain types of commercial tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), to minors. Significantly, there are now mandatory minimum prison sentences for individuals who are found wearing or transporting a loaded handgun who have had past incidences or convictions with firearms, written under House Bill 1029. Through an extreme risk protective order, the new “red flag law” allows a judge to order a temporary surrender of firearms from a gun owner who is a possible threat to themselves or society, in an effort to increase public safety.

Education and Workplace Laws

In schools, a principal can report severe instances of bullying or cyberbullying, including harassment or intimidation, to the police if they believe a crime has been committed, or if it is otherwise necessary to involve law enforcement. Additionally, governing bodies of institutions of higher education are now required to create and submit sexual assault policies to the Maryland Higher Education Commision by August 1st, 2019.

Under House Bill 1596, employers with a minimum of 50 employees must submit a survey to the Commision of Civil Rights by July 1st, 2020, disclosing the number of sexual harassment cases that have led to settlements or other results under the new Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018. State employees are also now required to complete a two-hour virtual or in-person sexual harassment prevention training session and are also granted 60 days of paid leave time for parental leave.

Veteran and Health Laws

Several new laws have taken effect regarding veterans’ rights and public health. For example, certain veterans and currently serving members of the armed forces are now granted priority registration for institutions of higher education.

In relation to the health industry, doctors must now disclose the risk of certain opioids and benzodiazepines to their patients. In addition, medication distributors are now required to report suspicious orders concerning dangerous substances to the Maryland Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General.

Speak to Dedicated Attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein About New Maryland Laws

While several laws have been passed concerning vehicles, law enforcement, schools, the workplace, veterans and health, the above laws only cover some of the new changes taking place in the state of Maryland. Attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein is committed to keeping the public informed of impactful new laws that may affect the citizens of Maryland. If you have any questions regarding the potential effects of new laws taking place in the state of Maryland, or are in need of legal representation, contact the Law Office of Douglas C. Lauenstein today.