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New year brings new laws on state, national level

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The start of a new year brings with it new laws on the state and national level.

One that takes affect Wednesday is important for anyone who drives around young children. 

As parents of young kids drive into 2014 they will have to take a careful look at how they are installing their car seats.

"In the last decade theres been a lot of change in technology with car seats, says Deb Carpenter with Safe Kids of Kalamazoo County.

In what has always been a complicated process to begin with, now parents have to consider some new factors.

"Parents that are using child restraints...will need to know the weight of their child as well as the weight of their child restraint," says Carpenter.

With car seats getting heavier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set weight limits for seats that attach to the car's built in anchors.

A parent can use the anchors if the seat and child together are less than 65 pounds. Over 65 pounds, they have to use the seat belt straps.

The Michigan Legislature put through several new laws in its final days that are taking affect this week.

Among them, new criminal penalties for using skimming devices on ATMs to steal information. A package of five bills targets what the governor called a commitment to fighting this growing issue.

Another law extended a program to let repeat drunk drivers get a restricted license if they install a breath alcohol ignition device.

And a new law will allow customers to bring their own bottles of wine into restaurants that have a liquor license.

If someone is unsure they are installing a seat the right way Safe Kids will be having a car seat Check Up in February.

That will be Saturday, February 1st from Noon 4 p.m. at Cole-Krum Chevrolet, 12707 North US 131 in Schoolcraft.