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New Laws For The New Year In Texas

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Bottles are displayed on a shelf behind a bar. (credit: Oliver Morin/Getty Images)

Bottles are displayed on a shelf behind a bar. (credit: Oliver Morin/Getty Images)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Several new laws are now on the books across Texas, including changes to gun rules and why you may have to pay more for a night out on the town.

The New Year’s Eve crowd inside of Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke in Dallas were toasting the end of an era. Mixed drinks throughout the State of Texas can be served on the rocks, but never with a tax to the customer until January 1. The new year brings the same sales tax required for establishments that only sell beer and wine.

Jeff Lampton never realized that his liquor-based drink will now have an 8.5 percent levy attached. It is one of the new laws set for the new year. “No, I had no idea liquor was not taxed and beer was,” Lampton said Tuesday. “It won’t affect me one way or the other when they start taxing it.”

Also, hundreds of thousands of North Texans live in apartment communities. And a new law protecting them and their rent begins on Wednesday. Tenants living in complexes that offer “all bills paid” must be given fair notice if their utilities face disconnection because the landlord failed to pay the bills.

“I think it’s a good law because it’s already in our rent,” said resident Laqusha Davis on Tuesday. “We shouldn’t go without lights it it’s already included in our rent.”

Another new law for apartment dwellers protects domestic violence victims, allowing them to get out of a lease for the benefit of their safety.

The Lone Star State adds 600 new rules for 2014. Below are some other highlights.

  • Applying for a concealed handgun license in Texas? You can now get it without providing your social security number. And classroom instruction hours have been reduced.
  • Service animals assisting veterans with post traumatic stress will get access to the same public settings as dogs who assist the blind.
  • Indoor tanning beds will be off limits for anyone under 18 years of age.
  • People seeking state unemployment benefits must frist take a drug test.

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