The Nevada Assembly passed 48 bills Monday, including a measure requiring people arrested for a DUI to stay in jail until their blood-alcohol level drops or, if they took drugs, for 12 hours.
Assemblyman Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, said AB8 will make streets safer by ensuring people don't leave jail after a DUI arrest when they are still drunk or under the influence of drugs.
"People were being released two to three hours after being arrested, while their blood alcohol was 2.5 percent," Manendo said after the vote. His bill would require the blood-alcohol count to drop to 0.04. The level at which someone is considered too drunk to drive is 0.08 in Nevada.
The Assembly also passed AB72, sponsored by Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, which would make it easier to prosecute Internet predators who go online to lure someone they think is a child but instead turns out to be a police investigator.
AB72, a reaction to a Nevada Supreme Court ruling against prosecutors in such cases, would broaden current state law that makes it illegal to knowingly contact or try to contact someone less than 16 with the intent to lure that person into sexual conduct.
The Assembly also passed AB52, a measure that writes into law rules about alimony that judges already use based on court precedent. Its sponsor, Assemblyman John Carpenter, R-Elko, said the bill was a response to the case of Darren Mack, charged with killing his wife and trying to murder the Reno judge handling his divorce case.
Mack reportedly was upset by how Washoe County Family Court Judge Chuck Weller was handling his divorce, and according to court documents was upset because his wife, Charla, refused to agree that they accumulated no community property during their marriage.
The Democratic-controlled Assembly also passed several bills opposed by most of the Republican caucus, including AB127, which would allow people to record telephone calls from collection agencies without their consent. It passed on a 28-14 vote.
The other contentious issue was AB601, which would allow state employees to form a union to bargain for benefits. It passed by the same margin.
Assembly Minority Leader Garn Mabey, R-Las Vegas, said the law would force "workers to pay unions for so-called representation they did not ask for and perhaps did not want."
The Assembly also passed:
- AB247, which restricts the way hospitals can collect debts, a step Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said would help to protect consumers.
- AB329, which would require regulations for nontraditional mortgage loans and lending practices.
- AB282, which expands types of domestic violence by an individual against another to include killing or injuring an animal.
- AB353, which would allow a court to restore parental rights if a child is not likely to be adopted and if it's in the best interest of the child.
- AJR1, which requires that public officials must forfeit their office if they commit three or more ethics violations.
- AB4, a good Samaritan measure which protects from liability a doctor or nurse who helps a pregnant woman in labor or delivery in an emergency.
- AB106, which would prohibit prisoners from owning cell phones.
- AB468, which would require health care providers to disclose in writing any financial interests in a physical therapy facility when referring patients to such a facility.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)