New Oklahoma Laws

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New Oklahoma news

Oklahoma has several news laws that went into effect on November 1, 2018. Below is a brief synopsis of the laws:

Lottery

  1. Debit Cards may now be used to purchase lottery tickets.

Traffic

  1. There are new specialty license plates that are allowed.
  2. The left lane passing only driving law is now no longer applicable to streets inside city limits that are not part of the interstate highway system,
  3. Oklahoma Highway Patrol vehicles can now be painted in a different scheme.

Criminal

  1. The home of sex crime victims are now considered to be safe zones that prevents sex offenders from living near them.
  2. The State is now prevented from using certain previous crimes as enhancements to increase sentences for defendants charged while driving under the influence.
  3. There are new sodomy and rape felonies for sexual acts against a person between the age of 16-18 if performed by a caretaker.
  4. A previous conviction for drug possession from another jurisdiction may no longer be used to enhance punishment for a second drug conviction in this jurisdiction. Petit larceny may also no longer be used for enhancement.
  5. Pregnant inmates can only be detained using the least restrictive means and an inmate in labor may no longer be restrained.

Education

  1. The Department of Education is now required to hold an induction program for teachers to help with support and mentorship.
  2. There are new qualifications for teaching certificates and a raise based on the teacher’s level of certification.
  3. Teachers and students over the age of 18 are now considered mandatory reporters is they suspect child abuse.

State Declarations

  1. The Red Tail Hawk is officially declared as the State Raptor of Oklahoma.
  2. Mercy Me’s song “I Can only Imagine” is declared Oklahoma’s official inspirational song.

Religious Protection

  1. Private child placing agencies are now allowed to abstain from assisting in any placement that would contradict with their written religious policies.
  2. Churches are now considered a place where deadly force may be used against an intruder.

Administrative

  1. The Department of Human Services is required to develop and disseminate a form to all service providers notifying staff members of criminal penalties for having a \sexual relationship with someone in their care.
  2. An Opioid Overdose Fatality Review Board is created within the Department of Mental Health to review opioid deaths.

Landlord/Tenant

  1. Assistance animals are now considered a reasonable accommodation for people leasing apartments or homes. It prevents the landlord from liability if the animal causes harm to another and allows the landlord to sue someone fraudulently claiming they need an animal.

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