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Washington State to Pass NEW Electronic Device Law

Published on 6/9/2017
For additional information  Click Here

Beginning July 23, 2017, Washington police and state patrol will begin enforcing the new Driving Under the Influence of Electronics law.  This new law prohibits holding an electronic device (including phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets) while driving.   This new law will be a moving violation, similar to speeding tickets, and will be reportable to insurance companies.  The fine for this infraction for a first time offense will be approximately $136, and the fines will increase for each subsequent infraction.  This is a primary traffic offense ( a primary offense is an offense for which a law enforcement officer can stop a car and issue a citation if he or she sees a violation).  In addition to the cell phone ticket, the officer may also add a secondary offense of "distracted driving" if the officer believes the driver of a vehicle is engaged in any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle (for example, if an officer catches a driver being distracted while committing a standard traffic offense, such as running a stop sign because their coffee spilled or a pet jumped in their lap).  This secondary offense carries with it an additional fine.

Again, a cell phone or any other electronic device CANNOT be held in your hand while driving.  This applies even while waiting at lights or while stuck in traffic.  Bluetooth use is permitted, and a "minimal use" of a finger to turn the phone on, off, or to activate another function is allowed.  To decrease the possibility of a ticket for holding the phone, we recommend putting your phone on a mount in your car. 

Please be careful to obey this new law.  It is our belief that Judges throughout the state will strictly enforce this new law and hold people accountable for violations of this law.  

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