Sunday, July 23, 2017, Washinton State’s DUI-E Law took effect. DUI-E is short for Driving Under the Influence of Electronics. The DUI-E Act bans the use of cell phones while driving. The name stems from the fact the people driving while distracted are causing serious injuries and fatalities. In fact, some studies show that people who text while driving are six times more likely to get in an accident than drunk drivers.
Under the new law, drivers will receive tickets if they are caught using their cell phones or other electronics while they are driving. These tickets are called “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics tickets”, also known as an E-DUI. While less serious the a DUI charge, the violation will be reported to your insurer and there are fines associated with the E-DUI.
You can use your devices if you are:
- Hands-free (such as using Bluetooth) and can start use by a single touch or swipe without holding the phone
- Parked or out of the flow of traffic
- Starting your GPS or music before you drive
- Contacting emergency services
The Act also introduces additional penalties for other types of distractions such as grooming, eating or smoking.
The new law aims to stop the drastic increase in fatalities we’ve been seeing in Washington State and everywhere in the USA.
Additional information is available at Target Zero.