Local News

Two New Laws Effective Monday

Posted December 1, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— Two new North Carolina laws designed to protect children go into effect today. One allows judges to revoke various licenses of deadbeat parents; the other targets internet users soliciting sex from children.

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

The Division of Motor Vehicles and the state Wildlife Commission are tied into the judge's ruling, so that licenses can not be reapplied for without the parents fulfilling their obligations.

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

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

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

The other new law targets anyone who would use the Internet or online services to meet children for sexual purposes. It applies to any perpetrator over 16, and to victims younger than 16 and at least three years younger than the perpetrator.

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