A quick look at some new laws now on the books in NC

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  A new year means new laws. A series of new laws go into effect today. One in particular lawmakers are calling a stepping stone to battling the opioid drug epidemic in North Carolina.

New laws address how long someone can be prescribed painkillers, how you should act after being pulled over, and new faces that may end up on this years ballot.

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STOP Act

The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention Act will set standards for how much medical professionals can prescribe painkillers to patients.

“Everybody in the chain of this from physicians, to mid-levels, to nurses to everybody. Everybody has some culpability here,”said state representative Gregory Murphy MD who authored the legislation.



It now sets timelines like a five day supply for patients dealing with short term pain and a week’s worth prescribed for those dealing with post surgical pain.

“Being a physician myself and a person who actually prescribes opioids for pain relief,” said Chairman Murphy MD. “I think this is going to be a good step forward in codifying for what we as physicians can have as our limits of prescribing and for people who have initial pain episode.”

Chairman Murphy authored the bill and says eventually it will require e-scripts and modernize prescribing in the state.

Traffic Stops

Drivers listen up, if you are looking to get a license there will soon be a new handbook for how to interact with police when you get pulled over.

The law says specifically:

The Division, in consultation with the State Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Sheriff’s
Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, shall include in the driver license handbook a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.

Free copies of a handbook with this information will be provided during driver’s education courses.

Third Parties

You may see more names from different parties. The state is making the minimum requirements easier for third parties to get their candidates on the ballots.

Trial and appellate court elections are supposed to be officially partisan races again. But judicial primaries for this year are cancelled right now while debate among Republicans continues over judicial redistricting and whether to replace head-to-head elections.

There are among roughly 20 state laws taking effect in 2018.