Sheriff’s Office speaks out about new laws

Allison B. Hudson

In a brief interview with Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, expressed how the new laws recently passed regarding texting and driving and other laws can affect you.

Every year we see changes in existing laws and enactment of new laws and this year was no exception.

During the last week of July, over several days time, each of our enforcement deputies attended a four hour training course taught by an Appeals Court judge.  That course is designed to inform deputies about changes in the law and changes in legal procedure brought about by court decisions.  Additionally, where there have been significant changes in Louisiana law, copies of the new laws have been distributed to field supervisors.  Based on our educational efforts, our field deputies should be well aware of changes in the law said Bacala.

Regarding public notice of legal changes, public news outlets (print, radio, and television) seem to have done an excellent job of educating the public about acts that have been made criminal.  This is particularly true as in pertains to texting while driving and cell phone use by minors while driving. 

By my count, there were 1,053 pieces of legislation that were enacted in the last Legislative session and many of those changes affected criminal law.  Another example of an act now made criminal, that wasn’t criminal before, was the inclusion of a new item on the list of illegal narcotics.  It is an over-the-counter (at convenience stores) substance that is smoked and has basically the same affect on the user as marijuana---except I’m told that it is much more potent, said Bacala.

Bacala added that he believes that the cell phone use while driving and texting while driving statutes make a lot of sense and, if obeyed, they will lead to a reduction in car crashes.