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Uploaded: Monday, February 2, 2004, 10:05 a.m.

Palo Alto cop authors a proposed law

Palo Alto Police Detective Wayne Benitez is one of the three winners of this year's "There Oughta Be a Law" contest sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. In the contest, constituents propose new laws and Simitian then sponsors those bills.

Benitez suggested that the state pass a law requiring a prescription for anyone under age 18 for a cough medicine ingredient after seeing a 14-year-old have a seizure from overdosing on Coricidin, a common over-the-counter cold medicine. He then heard of other problems, including a 14-year-old having a mild attack, again due to an overdose.

"It's not just a passing fad," Benitez said. "It's in every community."

A second winner in Simitian's contest this year is Aaron Thomas Woolway, a Woodside High School student, who wants oil companies to justify to the state higher gasoline prices in California.

The third winner is two women who came up with the same idea of having the state require motorists turn on their headlights anytime visibility is reduced.
-- Don Kazak

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