We are all familiar with driving under the influence. This commonly refers to driving after drinking or driving after consuming drugs. However, a new law in the State of Washington will now cost you for driving under the influence of something completely different.
The new law called driving under the influence of electronics, or E-DUI bans cell phone use or the use of another electronic device while a person is driving, at a stoplight, or stopped in traffic. The law went into effect back on July 23, 2017. Since the law came into play, 6475 distracted driver warnings have been issued across the state.
KOMO says until now, drivers have just been issued a warning. But, now if you’re caught using an electronic device while behind the wheel, you will be issued a ticket. While a normal DUI conviction can cost $20,000 or more, your first E-DUI ticket will cost the driver $136. if a driver is taking it again within five years of their first offense, the fine will go up to $234. In addition to the fines, all information regarding using electronic devices behind the wheels will be made available to insurance companies.
According to KEPR, hands-free devices will be restricted to a single touch. Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste spoke with KOMO regarding driving while using devices.
“When you drive distracted, you are putting both yourself and other drivers in danger,” he said.”By eliminating distractions while driving, we will move closer to reaching the statewide Target Zero goal of no fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.”
Distracted driving fatalities increase to 32% from the years 2014 to 2015. This only applies to Washington State. Other types of distracted driving are also covered under this law. For example, say a driver runs a red light and a police officer is nearby to witness the action. If they run the light and did so due to things like putting on makeup or brushing their teeth while driving, they will be subject to a ticket. This ticket could set them back $99.