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New State Laws Target Underage Drinking, Detecting Child Abuse

December 31, 2012

Among the new laws taking effect in Pennsylvania as the new year begins are laws that increase fines for underage drinking, mandate training for certain school employees on the warning signs of child abuse, and prohibit some forms of euthanasia for animals.

The new law regarding underage drinking raise fines from $300 to $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense.  Pennsylvania recorded nearly 14,000 underage drinking offenses in 2011.

Many school employees will be required to undergo training on the signs of child abuse and on legal reporting obligations.  At least three hours of training are mandated every five years.

The new animal euthanasia law prohibits the use of carbon monoxide gas and drowning, among other methods, for putting down animals at animal shelters.  The law also makes it easier for shelters to obtain the drugs needed for more humane methods.

Other new Pennsylvania laws relax regulations on the use of farm vehicles on public roads, and make yet other revisions to the state’s “small games of chance” regulations.

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