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Stricter Distracted Driving Law Could Cause More License Suspensions

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

Stricter Distracted Driving Law Could Cause More License SuspensionsIllinois lawmakers are trying to further crack down on distracted driving by changing the state's traffic laws. Starting July 1, 2019, using an electronic communication device while driving will be a moving violation for first-time offenders. Under the current law, this offense is not a moving violation until the second time a driver commits it. This minor change to the traffic law could add up to Illinois more frequently suspending drivers’ licenses because of multiple moving violations.

Consequences

The fines remain the same for using an electronic communications device while driving. The only difference is that they will apply after the first violation instead of the second. They include:

  • $75 for a first offense;
  • $100 for a second offense;
  • $125 for a third offense; and
  • $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

You face consequences that are more severe than fines if you commit this violation multiple times. Illinois will suspend your driver’s license if you are ticketed for three moving violations within a year’s time. The change to the law means that your first electronic device offense will count towards that moving violation total instead of being a warning. Illinois assigns points to each moving violation, which it adds up to determine how long your suspension will last. The electronic device violation is 20 points, and committing that same violation three times within a year could result in a three-month license suspension.

Identifying Distracted Driving

Police officers have prioritized catching and punishing distracted drivers. For instance, the Illinois State Police will occasionally ride along with semi-truck drivers because it gives them a better vantage point to see what drivers are doing in their vehicles. Police identify electronic communication devices as a primary cause of distracted driving. However, Illinois law states that drivers are permitted to use the devices if they are:

  • Reporting an emergency;
  • Using a hands-free device;
  • Using a permanently installed device in a commercial vehicle;
  • Parked on the shoulder of a roadway;
  • Stopped in traffic and have the vehicle in park or neutral;
  • Using a two-way or citizens band radio; or
  • Using a communications device that requires pressing only one button to start and stop the conversation.

Contesting Moving Violations

There may be minimal consequences for receiving a single traffic ticket, but multiple tickets can cause you to lose your driving privileges. You should contest a traffic citation if you believe that you did not violate the law. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you get your traffic ticket dismissed. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0858

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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