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Two New Laws Effective Monday

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RALEIGH — Two new North Carolina laws designed toprotect children go into effect today. One allows judges to revokevarious licenses of deadbeat parents; the other targets internet userssoliciting sex from children.

Parents who are 90 days or more behind on their child support paymentsmay find themselves without their hunting, fishing or driver's licenses.To regain the licenses, parents will have to pay up and get certificationfrom a child-support agency. Limited driving privileges might be allowedfor getting to work.

The Division of Motor Vehicles and the state Wildlife Commission aretied into the judge's ruling, so that licenses can not be reapplied forwithout the parents fulfilling their obligations.

Parents were warned by letter in October that they may be affected bythe law change. Some of them have already made up payments or madearrangements to do so.

The state expects to collect $300 million in 1996-97 -- which isnearly two-thirds of what's owed in 202,000 cases under court order.

The crackdown on deadbeat parents already includes access to bank andutility records to find parents who owe, and revocations of business andprofessional licenses.

The other new law targets anyone who would use the Internet or onlineservices to meet children for sexual purposes. It applies to anyperpetrator over 16, and to victims younger than 16 and at least threeyears younger than the perpetrator.

Three other new laws are effective today. One provides up to 10 yearsin prison for using a blue light to force another motorist to yieldright-of-way or to stop; a similar law carries a penalty up to five yearsfor illegally operating a vehicle with a blue light; and the thirdprovides up to 20 years in prison for anyone causing "serious bodily harm"to law officers.

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