The Louisiana Legislature decided on several new laws in 2014. Most of them went into effect mid-year, but the rest will take effect at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2015. In other words what's okay to do on Thursday might not be okay to do Friday. You might want to double check and make sure you don't find yourself in the wrong seat of a police car.



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Smoking has long been prohibited inside public and state-owned buildings, but now a person can be fined for smoking within 25 feet of the entrance to such establishments. The penalty will be $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $100 for subsequent offenses.








Another, sponsored by Acadiana Senator Jonathon Perry of Kaplan, is an effort to clarify the laws dealing with drunk driving. The 41-page bill hopefully provides a blueprint for all members of the justice system when dealing with DWI cases, especially repeat offenders.









Your driver's license can now display more than your pertinent information. If a college or university chooses to participate in the Legislative-approved program, sponsored by Senator Fred Mills of Breaux Bridge, you can have the logo of the school you support displayed on your Louisiana license, for a fee.





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Additionally, when a 16-year-old applies for a driver's license, he or she can register to vote when doing so. The applicant must, of course, wait until he or she turns 18 to actually cast a ballot, but the process will already have been completed.





Other laws go into effect with the birth of a new year, such as one dealing with the handling of evidence by the crime lab and online payday lenders. For more information, visit