There has been a lot of discussion and commentary about “texting while driving” and the dangerous involved in this activity. The Syracuse Post Standard notes a Virginia Tech Transportation Instutite Study that texting while driving is even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated (DWI).
While Onondaga County NY has enacted its own local Texting While Driving (TWD) ordinance ban last month, and a statewide ban has been proposed and is expected to be signed by Governor Paterson.
Yet, there is still a huge disconnect as noted by eminent DWI defense Lawyer Lawrence Taylor.
Typically a texting “offense” is a secondary event, for which they can’t even pull you over and write you a citation unless you are committing some other offense to justify the stop, such as speeding. And the penalty, when it is against the law, is as little as a $50 fine, a civil penalty.
Compare that with a drunk driving charge. In New York, a DWI penalty for a first offense is a 6 month license suspension, up to $1000 in fines, the possibilty of actual jail time, and a criminal record. Not to mention the many thousand of dollars you’ll have to pay for a lawyer, and in extra insurance premiums.
Think of all the thousands of people per year who are arrested for DWI in New York. The majority of them are stopped for relatively minor offenses, like speeding or erratic driving. They may fail a breath test at just over the legal limit of .08% BAC. But the end result in the typical case is that no one is harmed in any way.
So why is a DWI with no accident, injury, or harm a serious criminal offense when a texting offense is a minimal fine and no criminal charge? When texting is deemed to be more dangerous to others on the road?
Something to seriously consider.
If you are charged with a DWI in New York state, please contact us for a criminal consultation to find out how we can fight your charges and help you through this difficult time. Free consultation.