Limit on Auto Insurance Rate Increases OKd

United Press International

Gov. George Deukmejian signed legislation that prohibits automobile insurance rates from being increased after an accident if the driver was not at fault, the governor's office announced Monday.

The governor described the measure, which was sponsored by Sen. Ruben Ayala (D-Chino), as imposing a "fairer system" than the practice of letting insurance companies increase rates on policies regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

The Ayala bill allows an insurance company to challenge findings of fault in an accident by initiating a new investigation.

The governor signed another bill that provides $175,000 for a three-year study of lead poisoning in children and to have state health officials target high-risk areas where children should be screened for lead poisoning.

Other bills signed by the governor would:

- Presume a person who operates a boat or other vessel with a blood alcohol level of 0.10% to be intoxicated--the same standard used for motorists. Refusal to submit to a sobriety test may be used as evidence in court and result in tougher penalties upon conviction.

- Allow nurses under certain conditions to dispense prescription drugs.

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