5 new laws in effect for 2017


With each new year comes new laws. For 2017, some of the new Tennessee state laws include a change in how Tennessee brewers make beer, some changes in handgun carry permits and more. Here’s a look at some of the new laws in effect Jan 1, 2017:

1. People convicted of vehicular homicide, in which alcohol or drugs were involved, will be ineligible for parole

2.Currently, Tennesseans must be 21 years old to get a carry permit for handguns, but now those who are 18 to 20 years old who are active duty, retired or honorably discharged from the military will be allowed to apply for handgun permits. Also, The fee for lifetime handgun carry permits will decrease from $500 to $200 for existing permit holders.

3. A new law allows Tennessee brewers to make higher alcohol content beers without a specialty license. The new law raises the alcohol by weight (ABW) limit to 8 percent from 5 percent. The law allows Tennessee grocery and convenience stores to sell high-gravity beers. Also, the new law increases the alcohol by volume (ABV) limit from about 6.2 percent to about 10.1 percent.

4. A bill that went into effect Jan 1, 2016, which requires each student graduating from a public high school with a regular diploma to pass a civics test composed of questions from the civics portion of the United States citizenship test administered by the United States citizenship and immigration services, has been amended for 2017. Previously, the test consisted of 100 questions, but will now be 25-50 questions and students must anwser 70% of the questions correctly, an increase from 60%.  The amendment also does not make passage of the test a requirement for graduation.

A student who has an individualized education program under which the civics test is determined to be an inappropriate requirement for the student does not have to take the test.

If all students in a senior class required to take the test and receiving a regular diploma pass the test, the school will be recognized on the department of education’s web site as a “United States civics all-star school” for that school year.

5. Certain criminal charges will require the offender to serve 85% of the sentence issued by the court. This law affects those charged with a third or subsequent conviction for the sale, manufacture, or distribution of a controlled substance when the violation is a Class A, B, or C felony and those with aggravated burglary or especially aggravated burglary charges, if they have two prior convictions of the same charge.

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