Always looking for more ways to raise revenue while using safety as the excuse, a new driving law in Washington State will now give prosecutors the ability to charge drivers with a DUI (or, an E-DUI) for using cell phones while driving.
Washington state drivers using any electronic device while behind the wheel — even when parked at a stoplight — could result in charges akin to a DUI.
A new distracted driving law, referred to as an “E-DUI,” takes effect in the Evergreen State on Sunday, according to KCPQ-TV. The legislation was written in response to a 32 percent increase from 2014 to 2015 in the number of deaths resulting from distracted driving.
“Put the cellphones down, preserve life,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said from the steps of the Capitol in Olympia, Washington. “When you are driving with a cellphone, you are a more dangerous driver than if you are driving drunk with a .08 blood alcohol level.”
The governor said that the bill is called “electronic driving while impaired” for a reason.
State troopers will be giving out warnings for the first few months before they start writing tickets, Patrol Chief John Batiste said. The first citation will cost drivers $136 and a second citation within five years of the first one jumps to $236.
The new law also allows law enforcement officers to charge motorists $99 if they are participating in other distractions, such as smoking, grooming, eating, or reading if it interferes with safe driving. That, however, is considered a secondary offense.
Washington state drivers using any electronic device …