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New laws in Tennessee

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Jun 30 2013 05:45:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 30 2013 02:31:54 PM CDT
changes to tn laws
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

Monday marks the start of new laws and changes to others already in play in Tennessee.

One change will affect where you can have a gun. "You can keep your gun in the trunk of a car. Pretty much don't show it, don't have it out in the open. Keep it locked up," says Tennessee Representative Tony Shipley.

Shipley believes that law is a compromise between gun owners and private property owners.

Another change for Tennessee is a new penalty for DUI. We learned a new law requires first-time DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their car. "The new law drops from .15 interlock to .08 mandatory first offense," adds Shipley.

Shipley says this is a win-win. Offenders have to pay for the interlock, not tax payers, and it will cut down on chances for repeat offenses. Some people who have a suspended license continue to drive, but with the interlock they will not be able to start their car if they've had too much to drink.

Law makers are also trying to cut down on synthetic drug use. The laws now have more specific language, making it harder to find a loophole. "While we were in there we went ahead and identified some of the new things we were seeing out there so we have an updated list of those chemicals," adds Shipley.

Shipley says Tennessee has done a good job of cutting down synthetic drug use. "In our ICU units there were 5 people in every unit. Today it's zero, so we've really knocked the bottom out of the synthetic drugs in Tennessee," says Shipley.

Shipley tells News 5 one thing he wants to crack down on next session is meth.

Virginia will also be seeing changes in laws Monday including gasoline and diesel taxes, imposing annual fees on hybrid and electrical cars and boosting retail sales taxes.

They will also add a stiff new ban on texting and driving.