A new distracted driving law takes effect Sunday in Washington. The law, a first of its kind, aims to cut down on distracted driving. The law named the Electronics DUI Act authorizes law enforcement to issue tickets for driving under the influence of electronics, but there are stark differences between an E-DUI and a DUI.
First of all, if you are even touching your phone while driving, you can be cited for an E-DUI. Your first one carries a fine of $136 and a second ticket within five years will cost you $234. If you do not pay the fine. A court could suspend your license.
According to the new law, the ticket would be reported to your insurance company like other traffic violations, meaning it would be added to your DMV record. Since this law is new, there are no guidelines to specifically set how one or many of these tickets could affect your insurance rates.
It is important to note that this offense is NOT considered a criminal offense, but a civil offense and will be considered a civic traffic violation.
This law includes all handheld devices even when the driver is stopped in traffic or at a traffic light. There should be no texting, checking email, watching videos or using cameras.
It also includes “dangerously distracted” driving habits like brushing your hair, smoking or eating, but you can only get cited for these if you are pulled over for another infraction. A ticket regarding one of these behaviors would cost you $99.
The law does allow for hands-free access, starting use with a single touch or swipe, access while parked or out of the flow of traffic and any contacting of emergency services.
The law takes effect Sunday. If you are facing any type of vehicular crime, it is crucial to have an attorney who can fight on your behalf. Call today for your free, initial consultation.