Distracted Driving Laws by State

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 20, 2018 | Last updated on January 09, 2022

Even those of us who find it impossible to put down our phones when we're behind the wheel would have to admit that we're not better drivers when we're distracted. And with the meteoric rise in car crashes linked to cell phone use, states have been cracking down on distracted driving like never before. While no state bans all cell phone use for all drivers (yet), those state laws can vary depending on what is prohibited and the possible penalties.

Here's a roundup of recent texting-and-driving legislation, from coast to coast:

Arizona: AZ Senate Votes to Ban Texting While Driving

Those caught texting while driving in Arizona must pay $50 fine, a penalty that rises to $200 if there is an accident.

California: New California Law Bans Holding Cell Phones While Driving

The Golden State went further than most, prohibiting all drivers from simply holding a cell phone or other electronic device (even a GPS) in their hand while driving.

Colorado: Did Colorado Legalize Texting While Driving?

Not really. Instead, the state prohibited texting in a "careless and imprudent manner" and upped the penalties for texting behind the wheel.

Georgia: New GA Legislation Seeks to Ban Texting While Driving

Georgia's anti-texting bill fines anyone found guilty of writing, sending, or reading a text message while driving. It also bans using any handheld devices while behind the wheel.

Michigan: MI Governor Granholm Signs Texting While Driving Bill

First-time violators in Michigan can get be ticketed and hit with a $100 fine, and subsequent violations would net a $200 fine. Michigan doesn't assign points to the violator's driving records, however.

North Carolina: Driving While Texting Banned in North Carolina

The Tar Heel State was one of the first to ban texting while driving, and bans all cell phone use for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers.

Washington: Intoxicated by Tech? Washington Passes Mobile Device DUI Law

Washington starting treating cell phones as an intoxicating substance, banning their use while driving, even if you're stopped at a traffic light. Known as a DUI-E, those caught texting and driving face a $136 fine for a first offense, and $234 for any subsequent offenses within five years.

If you're ticketed for texting while driving, contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible.

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