New Texas laws effective Sept. 1 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New Texas laws effective Sept. 1

AUSTIN (AP) - Here are some of the hundreds of new laws that take effect in Texas on September 1st:

ELDERLY DRIVERS: Known as "Katie's Law," requires drivers 79 and older to renew licenses in person. At age 85, renewal period drops from every six years to two years. Named after 17-year-old Katie Bolka, who was killed in 2006 when an elderly driver ran a red light.

SPEEDING TICKETS: Drivers ticketed at more than 95 mph cannot take a driving safety class to dismiss the citation.

MARIJUANA: Police will have discretion to issue citations instead of arresting those in possession of 4 ounces or less of marijuana. The offender must live in the county where they are stopped and must not be considered a threat to public safety.

CHILD PREDATORS: "Jessica's Law," named after 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was sexually abused and murdered, allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty for some repeat child sex offenders.

MISSING SENIORS: The state will develop an alert system for missing senior citizens similar to the current Amber Alert program used for abducted children.

CASTLE DOCTRINE: Removes the requirement that someone must try to retreat before using deadly force to defend themselves.

SEARCH WARRANTS: Allows courts to seal from the public and media search warrant affidavits for up to 60 days.

DOG OWNERS: Dog owners whose pets attack and seriously injure someone could face up to 10 years in prison. If the attack is fatal, it could be up to 20 years.

CHILDREN'S HEALTH: As part of the state budget, more than 100,000 additional children could be added to the state's Children's Health Insurance Program.

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