Issaquah

New state laws on Jan. 1 to affect nearly everyone

New state laws on Jan. 1 to affect nearly everyone
Interlock ignition devices will be required to take a photo of the user starting Jan. 1.
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Several new state laws go into effect at the stroke of midnight Tuesday - making us safer, making it tougher to drink and drive, and making it a little easier to make ends meet.

On the safety front, all apartments, condos, hotels and homes will be required to have carbon monoxide monitors.

"It will make someone very sick and it will lead to death. We want people to take this seriously," says Bill Mace, outreach and education coordinator for the Seattle Fire Department.

In the winter of 2006, carbon monoxide killed eight people who were trying to stay warm or cook indoors.

Steve Quant from West Seattle says a detector saved his life when his furnace malfunctioned.

"I went out and bought a bunch of them and gave them to my closest friends and said, 'You must put this in your house,' because it literally saved my life and I want to save theirs," says Quant.

Another new state law makes it tougher for convicted drunk drivers to drive drunk. All ignition interlock devices in our state will now snap a photo as the driver gives a breath sample.

"It will help us to monitor those people and help us to prevent people other than those driving the vehicle from blowing into the vehicle to start it and keep it running," says Sgt. Ken Denton of the Washington State Patrol.

And starting Tuesday, tens of thousands of workers in Washington state will get a raise. On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will jump up 15 cents per hour.

At $9.19, it will be nearly $2 an hour higher than the federal minimum wage. The increase translates to $310 a year for the average affected worker.

So, coming in 2013, new laws could save your life and help you pay the bills.

The minimum wage will also go up in nine other states, including Oregon and Montana.