New state laws effective with the new year have changed rules regarding drunken driving, getting married, doing laundry and taking time off to be with a new baby.
In a few states, tax rates are increasing, while in some the tax bite is easing.
New laws in Arizona and Wisconsin permit seizure of drivers licenses on the spot if drunken driving is suspected.
Arizona's law requires that police confiscate the license of anyone arrested for having a blood-alcohol content of 0.1 percent or more or of anyone who refuses to take a drunken-driving test. Suspects have 15 days to seek an administrative hearing on reinstating the license.
Louis Rhodes, executive director of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union, said the law contradicts the traditional presumption of innocent until proven guilty.
"It's one more example of a bad law that's thrown at a terrible problem," he said.
Effective Wednesday, South Carolina permitted officers to request blood or urine tests from motorists charged with driving under the influence.
"We'd have a problem when we'd get a person who passed the Breathalyzer test but was in no condition to be released," said Lt. Larry Mixon of the state Highway Patrol. Under the old law "we couldn't test him for drug use."
Eleven Oregon counties are participating in a test of a new law permitting judges to require convicted drunken drivers to use "interlock" devices on their cars as a condition for driving permits. The devices prevent a car from being started unless a driver blows into the mechanism and no alcohol is detected.
Louisiana and Illinois have begun requiring tests for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) before issuing marriage licenses, but neither state will ban weddings if tests are positive.
The Illinois law requires that both parties be told of the results and counseled on how to reduce the spread of the disease.
Other new Illinois laws require public-school grades six through 12 to provide instruction on AIDS prevention and permit health departments to notify past sexual partners of someone infected with AIDS.
Texas imposes a tax on data-processing services and on repairs and remodeling of nonresidential property in the last installment of a $5.7 billion tax hike. Gasoline taxes increased Sept. 1, and the state sales tax was increased from 5.25 percent to 6 percent Oct. 1.
North Carolina's corporate income tax increases from 6 percent to 7 percent, the first rise in 45 years, but the state also has repealed an unpopular inventory tax.
"We lost several retail distribution centers to other states because of that tax," said Bill Rustin, lobbyist for the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.
Florida's controversial 5 percent tax on advertising and other services died at the stroke of 1988 and is to be replaced Feb. 1 with an increase in the state sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. A 5 cent increase in the diesel fuel tax also has been repealed.
Michigan's 21 cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes increases to 25 cents, with the added revenue earmarked to help Wayne County, which includes Detroit. However, a pack-a-day smoker would come out just about even because an increase in the personal exemption from state income tax, from $1,500 to $1,800, will be worth about 25 cents a week to Michigan wage-earners.
Oregon's gasoline tax jumps 2 cents, to 14 cents a gallon.
California begins collecting a 6 percent tax on out-of-state mail orders, and Wisconsin cuts the inheritance tax by 20 percent, the first step in a five-year phase-out.
Laundry detergents containing phosphorus are banned in North Carolina.
Oregon requires companies employing more than 24 workers to provide as many as three months of unpaid leave to parents of newborns. Leave could be divided by couples working for the same firm.
In Tennessee, a new law requires employers of 100 or more to grant four months unpaid maternity leave to full-time employes. However, state Attorney General Mike Cody held that the law may be unconstitutional since it benefits only women.
In Colorado, the state Air Quality Control Commission has mandated use by all nondiesel automobiles of cleaner-burning, high-oxygen fuels in nine counties from Jan. 1 to March 1. The counties include Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
The mandate, which was not passed by the state legislature
but has the force of law, is intended to reduce carbon-monoxide pollution. Denver's carbon-monoxide levels were the highest in the nation last year, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
In North Carolina, a new "truth-in-advertising" law requires political action committees to have names describing their cause.
"What it's trying to do is do away with those many committees calling themselves 'Citizens for Good Government,' " State Elections Director Alex Brock said.
A new law in Washington state on child custody disputes requires both parents to give the courts a plan of
how they will provide for the physical and emotional needs of their children.
The law also defines child-rearing responsibilities of each parent, provides direction for future resolution of disputes between parents and assigns child-support obligations in detail.
Among other new laws, in brief: California -- Has legalized alcohol sales in nudist camps, required that pets riding in pickup truck beds be tethered or caged and hiked the maximum littering fine to $1,000.
Texas -- Has imposed a 72-hour waiting period between issuance of a marriage license and the wedding, although persons on active duty in the military are exempt.
Alabama -- Requires sports agents to register and bans them from dealing with college underclassmen.
New Hampshire -- Has a "whistleblower" law barring retaliation against workers who report unfair or unsafe conditions.
Idaho -- Permits banks or bank holding companies from any state to buy banks in Idaho.
Nevada -- Has banned trucks with more than 24 inches of clearance above the road.
South Dakota -- Becomes the last state to begin enforcing a law requiring children under 5 to wear seat belts or be protected by safety seats.
Montana -- Is adding a "Heritage Day" holiday after Thanksgiving in response to the campaign to observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
New York -- Is adding Pulaski Day, March 4, to its calendar of commemorative days, in honor of Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski and Americans of Polish ancestry. Effective Jan. 26, the state will reduce the maximum volume for each flush in urinals from six quarts of water to four quarts.