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New Tennessee laws in 2019

The New Year brings a lot of changes. Now that we are well into 2019, it is a good idea to get up to speed on the new laws in Tennessee. More than 30 new rules and regulations are now in effect since January 1. 

These laws cover a variety of offenses and initiatives, from wine sales to civil asset forfeitures. Here are a few of the most notable new statutes you should know.

Grocery store wine sales

Most states allow grocers to sell wine and liquor every day of the week, but not Tennessee. Thankfully, if you shop for groceries on Sunday, you can rejoice in the fact that you can now purchase wine with the rest of your haul. HB1540 allows retail food stores to sell wine from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays, aligning them with liquor stores. However, alcohol sales are not available on certain holidays, including Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.

Civil asset forfeiture

According to HB2021, law enforcement officials must now provide five-day warnings of property seizures before forfeiture-warning hearings to property owners. Property seized wrongfully must be returned to the owner within a five-day period. 

Opioid abuse reporting

HB2004 sets in place a requirement for the Department of Health to create and maintain both a phone and online hotline for citizens to report abuse or diversion of opioid medications. Additionally, any entity or establishment that prescribes, handles or dispenses opioids must have a sign to make citizens aware of the hotline. Anyone who uses the hotline is immune from civil liability.

Sanctuary cities ban

HB2315 prohibits local and state governments from enacting "sanctuary policies." Specifically, this law bans policies that restrict local law enforcement from complying with federal immigration officials for potential deportations. 

With so many new laws this year, it is hard to keep up with all of them. By staying informed about laws, you can avoid trouble with law enforcement.

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