The New Year means new reasons for Illinoisans to find trouble with Johnny Law. More than 150 new laws on the Illinois books will take effect tomorrow, the first day of 2013. The laws range from the weighty - like government worker pension reform - to the weird - as in a ban on shark fins and new taxes for adult night clubs. One law that will likely impact the checkbooks of many Illinois residents is the new ban on "cramming" - that's the practice used by landline telephone companies of billing their customers with unauthorized charges.
Parents and other adults who allow minors to drink inside their homes will be charged with a crime starting tomorrow. A new law makes it a Class A misdemeanor to let the kids drink, a crime that comes with a 500-dollar fine. If someone dies or is injured as a result of drinking, the host could be charged with a felony. Statistics show that friends and family remain the primary source of alcohol for underage drinking.