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New laws mean changes for new drivers and inmates in North Carolina

READ MORE: New laws mean changes for new drivers and inmates in North Carolina
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- From time spent behind bars to time spent behind the wheel, new laws in 2012 are making sure that every hour counts. Two new laws that go into effect in January mean big changes from some procedures in the state. With one of the two laws, thousands of misdemeanor offenders could serve their time in local jails instead of a state prison if there's room.

"It is to help alleviate some of the population in DOC, or the Department of Corrections, in North Carolina," New Hanover County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said, "to help alleviate some of the overcrowding that they have and also allow those inmates to serve in their own county."

This new law only applies to people charged with misdemeanor offenses with sentences of six months or less. Anyone else is not eligible for the new exemption.

"Any felon, any felony or a misdemeanor, who has been convicted and charged with more than 180 days will have to go to the Department of Corrections," Brewer said.

Time spent behind the wheel is the focus of another law that goes into effect come 2012. New North Carolina drivers will now have to log a minimum of 60 hours before getting their driver's license. Some of the soon-to-be drivers we talked with say they think the new rule goes too far.

"I think it's kind of annoying. It's a little bit too much enforcement, because we need a little more freedom like driving and stuff," 15-year-old Maria Serrano said. "I just think it's a little bit ridiculous to have to keep a log of driving hours."

The driving log has to be signed by a supervising adult for the hours to count, and ten of the hours must be driven at night. Although some people are not looking to the additional task, others say they think the driving log is just another responsibility that comes along with driving.

"My parents are like, 'Oh I have to drive you everywhere. Oh, I'm the taxi,'" 15-year-old Madison Steveson said. "It's going to be a load off their shoulders for me to drive, but it will also be a responsibility that I have to take on, and I like that."

Although the two new laws are seemingly unconnected, it just goes to show that how time is spent matters to the state of North Carolina.

To check out all the new laws that go into effect in the New Year click here.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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driving law

I think the idea of a log is silly because as stated by another here is no one going to lie. Of course some parents will lie in order to fast track their child. I do think that young drivers need to have more stringent requirements for getting their privilege to drive. I am requiring my child to have a job in order to assist in the cost of adding her to my policy. Its not that I cannot afford it but to show here that it is not a just a rite of passage. It costs money to own a car and to drive, she will appreciate the full effect. Young drivers are among the higher percentage group and as such should be highlighted.

Misdemeanors of less than 6 months... a littering conviction is a misdemeanor...should I go to jail for a first offense of littering? Tossing out a cigarette butt is littering so jail time is appropriate?

Let's address "distracted driving"... cellphones are the evil of all evils when this topic comes up but what about applying makeup, drinking coffee, singing to the radio, kids in the backseat, disgruntled spouses... these are all sources for distraction but I don't hear/read much about reducing these while driving.

GOVERMENT

GET OUT OF MY LIFE...

"The driving log has to be signed by a supervising adult for the hours to count, and ten of the hours must be driven at night. Although some people are not looking to the additional task, others say they think the driving log is just another responsibility that comes along with driving."...Cause NOBODY is going to lie...STUPID GOVERNMENT!

Couldn't agree with you

Couldn't agree with you more, 7969. Seems like every-time we turn around, somebody's trying to stick their noses into the affairs of others. What so many of our Constitutionally challenged co-participants on this board fail to either remember or recognize is that the government's duty is to PROTECT rights, NOT to grant them.

Some folks want to make the US just like China. Lots of "law enforcement" looking into our business and lives!

461, you say "Get out of OUR government." Get a clue, or re-study primary school civics. YOU don't have the capacity to tell anyone to get out.

We need more laws...

461 is correct, its because of simpletons that believe they should be able to do anything without having the worry about consequences is just plain stupid... And please for the love of all things that is right, POEPLE STOP COMPARING CHINA AND AMERICA THEY ARE NOTHING ALIKE NOR WILL THE BECOME THE SAME, my primary reason I studied abroad and honestly to my knowledge they live in a hell hold, however it is a very safe hell hold. If anything our country is very similar to Japan which needs to change ASAP before its to late, add some more laws or at least regulate the ones we currently have now before we become too free and out of control...
PS-If you really sick of lawless life take your butts to California.

Typical response from a left wing nut job...

...totally misaligned and jumping the gun. First off Einstein99x, driving is a PRIVILEDGE, not a right! This new law has nothing to do with government "sticking ther noses into the affairs of others", it merely has the intent of better qualifying young drivers. This law is intended to protect those young drivers and those that may be victims of their unpracticed decisions with driving.

I'll say again, if you don't like it here, go live in another country that better suits your disdain for this one! You have a real difficult time with accepting personal responsibility for anything don't you?

461, I am curious. How on

461, I am curious. How on earth do you infer that I have disdain for our country because I have spoken against additional government regulation in our lives?

This country is just fine for me. My key interest is preventing the likes of you from turning it further into a police state. I'd suggest some appropriate places for you to re-locate but Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany are now out of business.

Why don't you move to China....

...and get out of OUR government! There's nothing at all wrong with parents having to log a little driving time for their kids to get a driving license. Anytime anything actually responsible becomes law...the nit-wit whiners that already lack responsibility come out.

Texting while driving as a DWI charge is coming next...moron!

monkey see monkey do

Your only reducing yourself to the same level as "government" by calling another person a moron...you might want to look in the mirror to get a good visual of exactly what one looks like. lighten up there dude:}