Distracted Driving and Car Insurance Rates (Costs & Penalties)
Distracted driving can increase your car insurance rates by 41% on average. Keep your rates low by avoiding texting, watching videos, or drinking and driving.
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UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020
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|Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (of total traffic deaths)||Montana (Highest rate of fatalities)
Utah (Lowest rate of fatalities)
|DUI death rates (per 100,000 people)||Montana (Highest death rate)
New York (Lowest death rate)
|DUI arrest rates (per 100,000 people)||South Dakota (Highest DUI arrest rate)
Washington, D.C. (Lowest DUI arrest rate)
|Fatal crashes involving distracted drivers||34,247 (2017)|
|Texting ban||Texting is banned in 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands|
|Handheld phone ban||Handheld phone use is banned in 21 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands|
Did you know that putting on makeup or drinking coffee while driving are both considered distractions? And that you could be pulled over by a police officer for engaging in these activities while driving?
It’s true. It may seem like everybody does these things, but you could still end up getting in trouble with law enforcement if you’re caught.
Unfortunately, distracted driving is on the rise like never before, which makes it necessary to enact laws to ensure that everyone stays safe on the road. Almost 9 percent of all fatal crashes in the country are caused by distractions.
Talking on the phone or texting is still one of the major factors contributing to distracted driving crashes, but there are other activities as well that can cause you to take your eyes off the roads for a couple of seconds. And those few seconds are a lot when you’re driving on a freeway at 85 mph.
Distractions can also make you miss a signal or someone braking suddenly in front of you. That’s why we want to discuss in detail what exactly driving distractions are and how they can impact your insurance rates in the long run.
You can find insurance rates in your area by entering your ZIP code in the box above.
What is Considered a Distraction While Driving
Delving deep into the points we made previously, we’ll focus on every activity that can be a distraction for motorists, including those that are considered illegal while driving. Though not every distraction is banned by law, it’s important to limit absolutely any behavior that could cause you to lose focus while driving.
For instance, you might not take your eyes off the road while talking to your passengers normally, but if you’re disciplining your kids in the back seat, you might automatically turn to look at them. You may not think you’re distracted in that moment, but you absolutely are.
Types of Distraction
Distracted driving can be anything that takes your attention away from driving even if it happens for a millisecond. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), usually, there are three types of distractions — visual, manual, and cognitive.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel or attention away from driving, it can be called distracted driving. Texting while driving is one activity that involves all three types of distraction, which is why it’s banned almost everywhere in the U.S.
Though many people avoid using their phones while driving, there are plenty of other activities that can cause accidents if they take your mind, sight, or hands off of driving. Some of these activities include:
- Talking to passengers
- Looking at your phone, even to use GPS
- Eating or drinking
We understand that there are some things you can’t avoid, but try to minimize distractions as much as possible so you can stay safe on the road.
Using Cellphone While Driving
Possibly the most common distraction is the use of a cellphone by drivers for either calling or texting, with a growing number of people even browsing YouTube while behind the wheel. As much as people may claim that they can multitask, using your cellphone while driving is never a good idea, except in emergencies.
So, what do different state laws have to say about cellphone use while driving?
- Texting: Because texting is the most hazardous activity, 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban it for all drivers.
- Hand-held cellphone use: Holding a cellphone to make a call or engage in other activities such as browsing or texting is banned in 20 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Complete cellphone ban: None of the states completely ban the use of a cellphone while driving, but some do prohibit teenagers from using cellphones. Teen drivers aren’t allowed to use cellphones while driving in 38 states and D.C.
We know that it can be difficult to concentrate on driving when your cellphone is buzzing constantly, but if you take your eyes off driving, it can be dangerous. Here’s a great video about how you can avoid looking at your cellphone when driving.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Other Substances (DUI)
One of the worst kinds of distraction is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or any other substance that impairs your ability to drive or slows down your reflexes. Car insurance companies usually heavily penalize motorists who are convicted of DUI or involved in accidents as a result of alcohol-impaired driving.
The consequences of drunk driving in America are deadly. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 30 people die every day due to drunk driving crashes. That’s an alarming state of affairs.
In the year 2018, around 10,511 people died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving accidents.
|Vehicle Occupants||Total Fatalities (2017)||Alcohol-impaired Crash Fatalities||Percent of total fatalities|
In 2017, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for around 29 percent of the total fatalities from crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Since alcohol impairs a person’s reasoning, thinking, and muscle coordination, every state has strict laws about how much a person can drink and still get behind the wheel. To enforce these laws, the state allows police officers to measure the level of alcohol in a driver’s blood.
Across all states and the District of Columbia, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or more, as the probability of a crash increases beyond this limit.
Though state laws permit motorists to drive with a BAC below 0.08, any amount of alcohol can be dangerous for you on the road. In 2017, around 1,837 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes where drivers had a BAC between 0.01 and 0.07.
Drunk driving among teenagers or young drivers is another rising problem in the U.S. Coupled with inexperience, intoxicated young drivers are a huge threat to safety on the roads.
- In 2017, young drivers (between the ages of 16-24) accounted for 42 percent of fatal drunk-driving crashes.
- In 2018, young drivers aged 21-24 accounted for the largest segment of drunk drivers at 27 percent, followed by drivers aged 25-34 at 26 percent.
- When it comes to gender, men are more likely to be involved in drunk driving accidents than women.
Top Distractions While Driving
Apart from driving drunk or using a cellphone, motorists can get distracted from a multitude of activities without realizing how much they’re risking their own and everyone else’s safety.
So, what are the top distractions while driving?
Take a look at the list below.
- Adjusting controls in your car: The control panel in your car lets you adjust music volume, change channels on the radio, increase your seat’s heating, switch on the air conditioner, and much more. Though these might seem like small tasks, any one of them can cause you to take your eyes or attention off driving, which can lead to crashes.
- Talking to passengers: Chit-chatting a bit with your passengers is usually harmless; however, make sure you can do so without looking around at the people you’re talking to. Also, having a heated discussion is a bad idea, as it takes your mind off driving.
- Personal grooming: Maybe you’re running late and didn’t have time to go through your whole morning routine before you left the house. Maybe you think there’s no harm in applying makeup while you’re cruising down the highway. Wrong. If you’re looking at your own face in the rearview mirror, you’re not looking at the road. It is highly recommended you do not attempt to apply makeup while driving, and doing so is illegal in Washington state.
- Discipling your children: Even when your children are screaming or demanding attention, you should try to ignore their tantrums while driving. The same goes for pets, as they can be very demanding of your attention. It’s never a good idea to drive with your pet on your lap.
- Thinking intently: It’s easy to get lost in thought while driving, but thinking about something too intensely can cause you to lose focus. Driving requires your complete attention, as you need to be able to react quickly to events unfolding around you.
- Checking directions: Modern times have made us dependent on GPS to figure out where we’re going. You may often find yourself typing on Google Maps to get directions while driving. Instead of doing this, plug in the address before you leave, and pull over if you need to make adjustments along the way.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
Car accident-related fatalities and injuries are at an all-time high due to distractions while driving, which can include any of the activities we’ve discussed in the previous section.
- In 2017, 3,166 people died in distracted driving crashes.
- Distracted drivers are responsible for nine fatalities and thousands of injuries every day.
- Drivers under the age of 20 are responsible for the largest share of fatal crashes due to distracted driving.
Apart from the risk of crashes, distracted driving can also cause drivers to miss signals or exceed the speed limit, leading to traffic violation tickets. These will cause your insurance premium to rise.
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Distracted Driving Laws for Cellphone Use
Merely issuing warnings or recommendations rarely works in curtailing distracted driving. That’s why most states have stringent laws against cellphone use while driving.
Using a cellphone while driving for either texting or calling can lead to one or more of these penalties:
- Monetary fines
- License suspension
- Prison time in the event of a fatal crash
Cellphone Use While Driving Laws by State
Let’s look at laws about cellphone usage while driving in different states.
|State||Hand-held ban||Young drivers cellphone ban||Texting ban||Enforcement|
|AL||No||16-year-old drivers; 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months||All drivers||Primary|
|AZ||All drivers||Learner's permit holders and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing||All drivers||Primary; secondary: learner's permit holders and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing|
|AR||Drivers 18 or older but younger than 21; school and highway work zones||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|CA||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary: hand-held and texting by drivers 18 and older; secondary: drivers younger than 18|
|CO||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|CT||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|DE||All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|DC||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|FL||Drivers in school and work zones||No||All drivers||Primary|
|GA||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|HI||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|IL||All drivers||Drivers younger than 19 and learner's permit holders younger than 19||All drivers||Primary|
|IN||No||Drivers younger than 21||All drivers||Primary|
|IA||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|KS||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|KY||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|LA||Drivers in signed school zones; with respect to novice drivers||All novice drivers||All drivers||Primary|
|ME||All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|MD||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|MA||All drivers (effective 02/23/20)||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|MI||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders (level 1 and 2); integrated voice-operated systems excepted||All drivers||Primary|
|MN||All drivers||Learner's permit holders and provisional license holders during the first 12 months after licensing||All drivers||Primary|
|MO||No||No||Drivers 21 and younger||Primary|
|NE||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders younger than 18||All drivers||Secondary|
|NV||All drivers||No||All drivers||Primary|
|NH||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|NJ||All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|NM||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|NY||All drivers||No||All drivers||Primary|
|NC||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|ND||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|OH||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Secondary; primary for drivers younger than 18|
|OK||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||No||All drivers||Primary|
|OR||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|RI||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|SD||No||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Secondary|
|TN||All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|TX||Drivers in school crossing zones and on public school property during the time the reduced speed limit applies||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|UT||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|VT||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|VA||Drivers in highway work zones||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary; secondary for drivers younger than 18|
|WA||All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
|WV||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner's permit or an intermediate license||All drivers||Primary|
|WI||Drivers in highway construction areas||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary|
For teenagers, the use of a cellphone while driving is completely banned in most states. There are a few states that allow adults to use cellphones to some extent while driving; however, texting isn’t allowed anywhere except Missouri and Montana.
In fact, Montana is the only state that doesn’t have a state-wide law to ban the use of cellphones while driving.
Where cellphone ban laws are in place, they are usually rigidly enforced. In states that ban the use of hand-held phones, using one while driving is a primary offense, meaning a police officer can cite motorists if they’re caught. In most states with a text messaging ban, this law is also under primary enforcement.
Penalties for Using Cellphone and Texting while Driving
Since texting is the most dangerous distraction — taking your mind, as well as your hands, off of driving — it is banned in almost all states.
You can see the penalties for texting or using a cellphone while driving for each state in the table below. The penalties increase with each subsequent violation.
|State||Penalty for Cellphone Use|
|Alabama||Fines for texting are $25 (first violation). This increases to $50 for a second offense and $75 for third and subsequent offenses. It also adds two-points to your driving record.|
|Alaska||Alaska has the harshest penalties for texting while driving which is a Class A misdemenaor and carries a fine of up to $10,000. It also leads to prison time of up to one year.|
|Arizona||Arizona recently enacted a texting ban law for motorists and the fines will start kicking in by the year 2021. Using a cellphone attracts a fine of $75 to $149 for a first violation. Second or subsequent violations can lead to a fine of $150 to $250.|
|Arkansas||The state's cellphone and texting laws are “primary” laws. Fines can range between $250 and $500.|
|California||The state's driving law imposes a fine of $20 for the first violation and a $50 fine for each subsequent offense. It's a zero-point offense.|
|Colorado||For the first violation, drivers face fines of $300 and get four points on their driving record. Subsequent violations can lead to up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to one year in jail.|
|Connecticut||The fine for a first offense is $150, $300 for a second violation and $500 for subsequent offenses.|
|DC||First time offenders face fines of $100 and a second violation within 18-months attracts a fine of $150, while a third one leads to a fine of $200. A third-offense can also lead to license suspensions for 30 to 90 days.|
|Delaware||Drivers caught using a cellphone while driving will be fined $100 for the first violation. Subsequent violations will attract fines between $200 and $300.|
|Florida||Starting this year, drivers in Florida can be pulled over by police officers if they are using a cellphone. The fines will range from $30 to $100 and three points on your record.|
|Georgia||First time offenders are subject to a fine of $50 and one point on their driving record.|
|Hawaii||Usually drivers in violation of the law are fined $250, however, it can increase to $300 if caught in a school or construction zone.|
|Idaho||Texting while driving normally leads to a fine of $81.50.|
|Illinois||Violators of the state's cellphone ban will receive fines of $75 for the first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for any subsequent offenses.|
|Indiana||Violators who are caught texting or even reading emails are subject to fines up to $500.|
|Iowa||Distracted driving convictions can lead to fines of $100. But, if distracted driving leads to injuries or death, the fine increases to $1,000.|
|Kansas||A texting violation leads to a fine of $60 in Kansas.|
|Kentucky||Violators of the texting ban will receive a $25 fine for the first violation and $50 for subsequent violations.|
|Louisiana||Distracted driving laws in the state attract a fine of up to $500 for a first violation and up to $1,000 as well as license suspension for a second violation.|
|Maine||A violation of the state's distracted driving laws can result in a fine of at least $250 and 30-day license suspension for repeat violations.|
|Maryland||For first-time violators, the maximum fine is $75, which increases to $125 for a second violation and $175 for any subsequent violations.|
|Massachusetts||From Feb 23rd, 2020, the state bans the use of cellphones and other hand-held devices while driving.|
|Michigan||Fines for texting are $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.|
|Minnesota||Getting caught holding a cellphone invites a fine of $50 for a first offense and $275 for subsequent offenses.|
|Mississippi||Drivers caught using a cellphone for texting or using social media will face fines of up to $100.|
|Missouri||The state's laws make it illegal for young drivers to text while driving and slaps a fine of $200 on violators.|
|Nebraska||A driver who violates the texting law can be fined $200 (first offense), $300 (second offense), or $500 (for subsequent offenses), plus 3 points against their driver’s license.|
|Nevada||Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense within seven years, and $250 for a third offense within seven years.|
|New Hampshire||There is a $100 fine for text messaging while driving.|
|New Jersey||The fine for violating New Jersey’s cellphone or texting laws is $100.|
|New Mexico||New Mexico’s novice texting and cellphone laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull a novice over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.|
|New York||A driver in New York who uses a cellphone to send text messages while driving in New York can be fined up to $150 plus mandatory surcharges and fees of up to $85.|
|North Carolina||North Carolina’s text messaging and cellphone laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.|
|North Dakota||There is a $100 fine for text messaging while driving.|
|Ohio||Fines for violation of the anti-texting law are up to $150, and for novice drivers, up to $300.|
|Oklahoma||Violating the texting ban may result in suspension or loss of license.|
|Oregon||The fine for violating Oregon’s cellphone or texting laws is $142.|
|Pennsylvania||The fine for violating Pennsylvania’s texting ban is $50.|
|Rhode Island||Using a cellphone while driving will result in an $85 fine for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $125 for third and subsequent offenses.|
|South Carolina||$25 fine for first time violators of the texting ban.|
|South Dakota||Those who text and drive in South Dakota will face a fine of $100.|
|Tennessee||Violation of the texting law is punishable by a fine of up to $50 plus court costs not to exceed $10.|
|Texas||The state legislation bans the use of cellphones for texting or writing emails and fines can range between $25 and $99.|
|Utah||Under Utah’s law, someone caught texting and driving now faces up to three months in jail and up to a $750 fine.|
|Vermont||Violation of the texting law is punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second and subsequent offense within a two year period.|
|Virginia||Virginia’s texting law is a secondary law, which refers to the fact that an officer can only pull you over and issue a ticket if they have witnessed some other violation.|
|Washington||Washington’s handheld cellphone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws, as is the prohibition on all cellphones for bus drivers.|
|West Virginia||Violation of the texting law is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $75 for a third offense.|
|Wisconsin||The penalty for a first offense for violating the texting law is a fine of $20 to $400 and up to four points on the driving record of the offender.|
|Wyoming||The penalty for violating the texting law is a fine of up to $75.|
Can a Cop Pull You Over for Texting while Driving?
Even in states where using a cellphone while driving is not illegal, texting is usually banned. As we discussed earlier, in most states, texting is a primary enforcement law.
If your state has a primary enforcement law, police officers can and will pull you over if they see you texting while driving. The penalty will not be as severe as it is in cases where texting causes an accident, but you can still receive a ticket just for violating the law.
How Long Does a Cellphone or Texting Ticket Stay on Your Driving Record?
Tickets not only cost you money or license suspensions but can also raise your auto insurance premiums. And, as long as the offense stays on your driving record, insurance companies will keep charging you high premiums.
Insurance companies believe that people who have been charged with distracted driving in the past may be more likely to cause an accident, and thus more likely to file a claim
If a distracted driving or moving violation has been cleared from your driving record, it won’t impact your rates. But insurance companies have their own criteria for issuing rates based on your prior offenses.
While the impact on insurance rates varies by state, by insurance company, and by type of violation, you should ask your insurance agent about how much they raise rates after any incidence. Here’s a look at how insurance premiums increase at different companies when you have a violation on your driving record.
|Insurance Providers||Impact on Auto Insurance Premiums|
|Esurance||Rates are impacted if motorists have had any moving violations in the past three years or DUI violations in the past 10 years|
|Progressive||An at-fault accident may raise your rates by 62.5% on average|
|State Farm||If you have had speeding tickets or accidents in the past few years, these will impact your rates|
|USAA||Accidents can impact your rates for three years. Any major traffic violation in the past five years can also impact your rates|
Although insurance companies refrain from providing any information on how long your rates would be impacted by a violation, they usually increase your premiums for a minimum of three years. Some companies also offer the option of accident-forgiveness if you’re in a minor accident after having been have been accident-free for the past three to five years.
Drunk Driving Laws or DUI Laws by State
Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the worst things you can do — not only does it substantially increase the chance of violations and (potentially fatal) accidents, but a DUI record doesn’t go down well with insurance companies.
Simply put, if you’re caught driving drunk, you will not like your car insurance bill in the next cycle.
Let’s look at the DUI laws by state.
|States||BAC Limit||High BAC Limit||Criminal Status by Offense||Formal Name for Offense||Look Back Period/Washout Period|
|Alabama||0.08||0.15||1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ in 5 years Class C felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||5 years|
|Alaska||0.08||NA||1st-2nd Class A misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years class C felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Operating Under the Influence (OUI)||15 years|
|Arizona||0.08||0.15-0.2; 0.2+||1st-2nd Class 1 misdemeanor, 3rd+ Class 4 felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||7 years|
|Arkansas||0.08||NA||4th+ within 5 years is a felony (otherwise unclassified)||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||5 years|
|California||0.08||0.15-0.2; 0.2+||Non-injury DUIs are misdemeanors. 4th+ felony if offender sentenced to incarceration in state prison||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Colorado||0.05 - DWAI, 0.08 - DUI||0.15-0.2; 0.2+||1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ Class 4 felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||no official period|
|Connecticut||0.08||NA||1st misdemeanor, 2+ within 10 years are felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Delaware||0.08||0.15-0.2; 0.2+||1st-2nd unclassified misdemeanors, 3rd Class G felony, 4th-5th Class E felonies, 6th Class D felony, 7th Class C felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+|
|Florida||0.08||0.15||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ within 10 years is 3rd degree felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years for 3rd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 4th+|
|Georgia||0.08||0.15||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd high and aggravated misdemeanor, 4th+ felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Hawaii||0.08||NA||1st-3rd petty misdemeanors, 4th+ Class C felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/ Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVUII)||5 years|
|Idaho||0.08||0.2||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 2nd or subsequent with BAC > 0.20 felony, 3rd+ felony. DUI with bodily harm or disfigurement is felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years for DUI, 5 years for HBAC|
|Illinois||0.08||0.16||1st-2nd Class A misdemeaor, 3rd-4th Class 2 felony, 5th Class 1 felony, 6th+ Class X felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Indiana||0.08||0.15||1st Class C misdemeanor, 1st high BAC Class A misdemeanor; subsequent convictions within 5 years, Class D felony||Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)||5 years|
|Iowa||0.08||0.15||1st serious misdemeanor, 2nd aggravated misdemeanor, 3rd+ Class D felony||Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)||12 years|
|Kansas||0.08||0.15||1st Class B non-person misdemeanor, 2nd Class A non-person misdemeanor, 3rd+ non-person felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Kentucky||0.08||0.15||1st Class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd within 5 years, Class A misdemeanors, 4th+ Class D felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Louisiana||0.08||0.15; 0.2||1st-2nd not classified, 3rd either misdemeanor or felony, 4th felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Maine||0.08||0.15||1st-2nd Class D crime, 3rd+ within 10 years Class C crimes||Operating Under the Influence (OUI)||10 years|
|Maryland||0.08||0.15||All misdemeanors||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||5 years|
|Massachusetts||0.08||0.2||1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ felonies||Operating Under the Influence (OUI)||Unlimited/lifetime|
|Michigan||0.08||0.17||1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ felonies||Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)||7 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+|
|Minnesota||0.08||0.16||4th degree offense w/no aggravating factors is misdemeanor; 3rd degree offense w/one aggravating factor is gross misdemeanor; 2nd degree offense w/ two aggravating factors is gross misdemeanor; 1st degree offense w/ 3+ aggravating factors is felony (Aggravating Factors: 1) any prior drunken driving offense 2) driving with BAC > 0.19 3) driving w/passenger <16 yo if passenger is more than 36 months younger than driver||Driving While Impaired (DWI)||10 years|
|Mississippi||0.08||NA||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ felonies with 4th automatic felony carrying 2-10 years in prison||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||5 years|
|Missouri||0.08||0.15; 0.2||1st intoxication offense Class B misdemeanor, first per se offense Class C misdemeanor, 2nd Class A misdemeanors, 3rd Class D felony, 4th+ Class C felony||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||5 years|
|Montana||0.08||0.16||1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+|
|Nebraska||0.08||0.15||1st-3rd w/in 15 years Class W misdemeanors, 4th w/in 15 years Class IIIA felony, 5th+ w/in 15 years Class III felonies, injury related DUI Class IIIA felony. If driver with prior felony conviction with BAC >0.15 caught driving with BAC >0.02, Class IIIA misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||15 years|
|Nevada||0.08||0.18||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 7 years Category B felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||7 years|
|New Hampshire||0.08||0.16||1st Class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd non-injury Class A misdemeanors, 4th+ non-injury felony, DUI with serious bodily injury Class B felony||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||10 years|
|New Jersey||0.08||0.15||Drunken driving is a "violation" not a "crime"||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|New Mexico||0.08||0.16||1st-3rd not classified, 4th-5th fourth degree felony, 6th+ third degree felony||Driving While Impaired (DWI)||Unlimited/lifetime|
|New York||0.05 - DWAI, 0.08 - DUI||0.18||DWAI:1st traffic violation, 2nd+ misdemeanors; DWI: 1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years Class E felony, 3rd+ in 10 years Class D felony||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI); High BAC Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI)||10 years for 2nd offense, 15 years for 3rd+|
|North Carolina||0.08||0.15||1st-3rd classified as Level 1-5 based on sentence length, 4th+ Class F felony||Driving While Impaired (DWI)||7 years|
|North Dakota||0.08||0.18||1st and 2nd offense within 7 years are Class B misdemeanors. 3rd offense within 7 years is a Class A misdemeanor. 4th and subsequent offenses within 15 years are Class C felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||7 years|
|Ohio||0.08||0.17||1st-2nd first degree misdemeanors, 3rd misdemeanor, 4th in 6 years fourth degree felony, + in any time period third degree felony||Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI)||10 years|
|Oklahoma||0.08||0.15||1st misdemeanor, 2nd+ in 10 years felonies||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||10 years|
|Oregon||0.08||0.15||1st-3rd Class A misdemeanors, 4th+ Class C felonies||Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII)||10 years|
|Pennsylvania||0.08||0.16||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ second degree misdemeanors||Driving After Imbibing (DAI)||10 years|
|Rhode Island||0.08||0.15||1st-2nd non-injury misdemeanors, 3rd+ non-injury felony, DUI w/ serious bodily injury is felony||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||5 years|
|South Carolina||0.08||0.16||1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years Class C misdemeanor, 3rd in 10 years Class A misdemeanor, 4th+ in 10 years Class F felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|South Dakota||0.08||0.17||1st-2nd Class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd in 10 years Class 6 felony, 4th in 10 years Class 5 felony, 5th+ Class 4 felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Tennessee||0.08||0.2||1st-3rd Class A misdemeanors, 4th+ in 10 years Class E felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Texas||0.08||0.15||1st Class B misdemeanor, 2nd in 5 years Class A misdemeanor, 3rd+ third degree felonies||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)||Unlimited/lifetime for sentencing; 5 years for 2nd+ when determining need for IID|
|Utah||0.08; changes to 0.05 12/2018||0.16||1st-2nd Class B misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years third degree felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Vermont||0.08||0.16||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||Unlimited/lifetime|
|Virginia||0.08||0.15; 0.2||1st-2nd Class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years Class 6 felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Washington||0.08||0.15||1st-4th gross misdemeanor, 5th+ Class B felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||7 years|
|West Virginia||0.08||0.15||1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years felonies||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Wisconsin||0.08||0.17-.199; 0.2-0.249; 0.25+||1st municipal offense, 2nd-3rd misdemeanors, 4th in 5 years and 5th-6th anytime Class H felony, 7th-9th Class G felony, 10th+ Class F felony||Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)||10 years|
|Wyoming||0.08||0.15||1st-3rd non-injury misdemeanor, 4th+ non-injury in 10 years felony, serious injury DUI is felony||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||10 years|
|Washington DC||0.08||0.2-0.25; 0.25-0.3; 0.3+||All are misdemeanors||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||15 years|
Because of the risks involved with drunk driving, all states have strict laws in place to combat this behavior. Many states have a high BAC limit law as well, which attracts harsher penalties.
Note that some states also have a washout/lookback period, which determines how long the DUI conviction stays on your record. In states where there’s no washout period, like Massachusetts, the DUI offense will remain on your record in perpetuity, and any subsequent conviction will be counted as a repeat offense.
Penalties for Drunk Driving by State
Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, license suspensions, and vehicle impoundment, depending on the severity of your offense.
|States||First Offense - ALS or Revocation||First Offense - Imprisonment||First Offense - Fine||First Offense - Other|
|Alabama||ALS - mandatory 90 days||Up to 1 yr in municipal or county jail (no minimum)||$500-$2,000 +$100 for Impaired Drivers Trust Fund||Mandatory DUI school|
|Alaska||90 days||Mandatory min 72 consecutive hours||$1,500 min +$200 license reinstatement fee||SR-22 liability insurance required for 5 years, possible attendance at ASAP endorsed treatment program; mandatory interlock 1 year|
|Arizona||90-360 days||Min. 1-10 days||$250 base fine|
|Arkansas||6 months||24 hours - 1 year, or community service||$150-$1,000||For license reinstatement, must complete approved treatment or education program and a Victim Impact Panel +$150 reinstatement fee; interlock device equal to license suspension time|
|California||4 months||96 hours to 6 months, including 48 continuous hours||$390-$1,000||$125 license reinstatement fee ($100 under 21 yr. old suspended under Zero Tolerance Law) +CA Ins Proof Certificate (SR 22/SR 1P) + DUI program for license reinstatement|
|Colorado||9 months||5 days-1 year||$600-$1,000||24-48 hours public service|
|Connecticut||45 days + 1 year with IID||Either 1) up to 6 months w/ mandatory 2 day min or 2) up to six months suspended with probation requiring 100 hours community service||$500-$1,000|
|Delaware||12 months||No minimum||$500||IID Installed for 12-23 months on one vehicle registered in offender's name after serving 30 days of revocation period and enrollment in rehabilitation program|
|Florida||180 days min up to 1 year||8 hrs minimum, but not more than 6 months; with high BAC or minor in car, not more than 9 months; for a first conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year||$500-$1,000; High BAC or minor in car, $1,000-$2,000||Car impounded for 10 days unless family has no other transportation; mandatory 50 hours community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of CS required|
|Georgia||120 days min up to 1 year||10 days-12 months, can all be suspended at judge's discretion unless HBAC, then all but 24 hours can be suspended||$300-$1,000||20-40 hours community service|
|Hawaii||1 year||48 hours-5 days||$150-$1,000 +$25 to neurotrama special fund +$25 to trauma system special fund if court ordered||14 hour min rehab program; may require 72 hours community service; IID for 1 year|
|Idaho||90-180 days||No minimum, but up to 6 months||No minimum, but up to $1,000|
|Illinois||1 year||No minimum, but up to 1 year||$500 to $2,500||Before driving privileges restored, must complete substance evaluation and treatment program +high-risk auto insurance for 3 years|
|Indiana||30 days-2 years OR probation with rehabilitation course||No minimum, but up to 1 year||$500 to $5,000||May be required to: attend victim impact panel, submit to urine testing and other terms of probation|
|Iowa||180 days but may apply for temporary restricted license; if crash occurred or BAC > .10, must install IID||48 hours-up to 1 year; min 48 hours may be served in OWI program with law enforcement security||$625 up to $1,250 OR community service||Must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program and might be assigned a reality education substance abuse prevention program|
|Kansas||30 day suspension then 330 day restriction||48 hours mandatory OR 100 hours community service||$500-$1,000||Must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program; vehicle can be impounded for up to 1 year|
|Kentucky||30-120 days||2-30 days||$200-$500||90 days of alcohol or substance abuse program; possible 48 hours-30 days of community labor|
|Louisiana||1 year/HBAC 2 years||48 hours in jail + up to 6 months OR fine; up to 2 years probation||$300-$1,000 +$100 reinstatement fee||30 hours reeducation, 32+ hours community service, half must be street garbage pickup|
|Maine||150 days min w/ or w/o aggravating factors||None; 48 hours min with aggravating factors||$500|
|Maryland||6 months||No minimum, but up to 1 year||No minimum, but up to $1000||12 points on license|
|Massachusetts||1 year after date of conviction; may apply for work/education provisional license after 3 months||No minimum, but up to 2.5 years||$500-$5000||May be granted two year parole with 2 week treatment program|
|Michigan||Mandatory 6 months; may be eligible for restricted license after 30 days||5 days - 1 year consecutive jail time OR 30-90 community service||$100-$500||6 points on record; possible IID|
|Minnesota||Revoked for 90 days (180 days if under 21)||No minimum, but up to 90 days||$1,000|
|Mississippi||90 days + completion of alcohol safety program unless received IID license||No minimum. 48 hours OR attend victim impact panel||$250-$1,000||Complete alcohol safety program within 1 year|
|Missouri||30 day suspension, may be eligible for restricted driving privilege||No minimum||No minimum|
|Montana||6 month suspension||24 hours-6 months||$600-$1,000 +$200 reinstatement fee||10 license points for life; must participate in ACT phases (assessment, course, treatment); may be ordered to use IID|
|Nebraska||2 month minimum; may be served with IID upon court order. If given probation or suspended sentence: 60 day DL revocation||7-60 days probation/suspended sentence: 10 days in jail or 240 hours community service||No minimum, but up to $500||SR-22 for three years|
|Nevada||90 days; eligible for restricted license after half of revocation period||2 days-6 months OR 96 hours community service||$400-$1,000||SR-22 for three years; pay $150 for DUI school; may be ordered to attend treatment program|
|New Hampshire||9 months-6 years, 6 months can be suspended if enrolled in 20 hour Impaired Driver Intervention Program||no minimum||$500 min|
|New Jersey||BAC 0.08-0.99: 3 months; BAC 0.10-0.14: 7 months-1 year; BAC 0.15+: 7 months - 1 year, IID during suspension and 6 months - 1 year following restoration||Minimum 12 hrs BAC 0.08+: up to 30 days||BAC 0.08-0.99: $250-$400; BAC 0.10-0.14: $300-$500; BAC 0.15+: $300-$500; BAC 0.08+ $3505 in fees and surcharges||12-48 hours Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)|
|New Mexico||6 months-1 year (if under 21, 1 year)||No minimum, but up to 90 days; high BAC additional 2 days jail mandatory||No minimum||DWI school, evaluation, IID for 1 year, community service|
|New York||Revoked for at least 6 months; ADWI: 1 year min||No minimum, but up to 1 year; ADWI: up to 1 year||$500-$1,000; ADWI: $1,000-$2,500|
|North Carolina||60 day suspension, 1 year revocation||1 day minimum. See columns 55 & 56 for NC sentencing structure and additional penalties||No minimum|
|North Dakota||91 days minimum||No minimum||$500 minimum|
|Ohio||6 months minimum, but up to 3 years; 15 days before eligible for restricted driving privileges with IID||3 days jail or 3 days DIP - 6 months (if court grants unrestricted driving privilege with IID, mandatory jail time suspended)||$250-$1,075; license reinstatement fee $475||6 points on driving record; up to 5 years probation, optional treatment order, optional restricted plates|
|Oklahoma||1 month up to 6 months||5 days-1 year||No minimum, but up to $1,000||IID required if BAC 0.15+ for 18 months|
|Oregon||1 year||2 days-1 year OR 80 hours community service||Min $1,000 for BAC; min $2,000 for HBAC; up $10,000 if child in car||Drug and alcohol program, participation in victim impact panel, IID for 1 year after license suspension|
|Pennsylvania||No minimum||No minimum, but up to 6 months probation||$300||Alcohol hwy safety school, treatment when ordered|
|Rhode Island||60 days-18 months||No minimum, but up to 1 year or 10-60 hours community service||$100-$500 +$500 to hwy assessment fund||Possible attendance to treatment program; SR-22 insurance|
|South Carolina||6 months||48 hours-30 days||$400 minimum ($992 with assessments and surcharges)|
|South Dakota||30 days-1 year||No minimum, but up to 1 year||$2,000 minimum|
|Tennessee||1 year||48 hours-11 months; HBAC: min 7 consecutive days||$350-$1,500||DUI school required, court may require IID and/or addiction treatment|
|Texas||90 days-1 year, may be eligible for hardship permit||72 hours-6 months||No minimum, but up to $2,000 +conviction based surcharge of $1,000 for three consecutive years; if HBAC, surcharge is $1,500 for three consecutive years||24-100 hours community service; required evaluation, DUI education, and victim impact panel; possible IID|
|Utah||120 days; alcohol restricted driving privilege 2 years||Min 48 consecutive hours OR 48 hours community service OR home confinement||$1,310 min||IID 18 months|
|Vermont||90 days||No minimum, but up to 2 years||No minimum, but up to $700||Alcohol and Driving Education Program required|
|Virginia||1 year, restricted permit possible||Up to 1 year; if BAC 0.15-0.19, mandatory 5 days; if BAC .20+, mandatory 20 days||$250 mandatory minimum||VA Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) required; IID required if BAC 0.15+|
|Washington||90 days||24 consecutive hours-365 days OR 15 days electronic home monitoring||$865.50-$5,000||IID 1 year, addiction education or treatment as ordered|
|West Virginia||15 days||No minimum, but up to 6 months||$100-$500||IID possible|
|Wisconsin||6-9 months, if 2nd in 10 years: occupational license can be applied for in 45 days, if 2nd in 11+ years: occupational license can apply immediately||None, unless passenger under 16 in vehicle: 5 days-6 months||$150-$300 +$365 OWI surcharge||IID required for HBAC, alcohol assessment required, 6 points on license|
|Wyoming||90 days||No minimum, but up to 6 months||No minimum, but up to $750||Substance Abuse Assessment required; IID required for 6 months if HBAC|
|Washington DC||6 months||No minimum, but up to 90 days, if BAC .20-.25: mandatory 5 days. If BAC .25+: mandatory 10 days||Up to $300||Alcohol Diversion Program possible if BAC <.16|
In the table, you can see the penalties for just the first offense; in each state, you face fines, prison time, revocations, and/or mandatory DUI classes. With every additional offense, the severity of these penalties increases.
Can a Cop Pull You Over for Suspicions About Driving Drunk?
To stop any motorist for a DUI offense, police officers must have reasonable suspension and probable cause. You can’t be stopped by a cop without any reason or arbitrarily for an alcohol test, except at certain checkpoints.
A reasonable suspension means that your actions (such as erratic driving or speeding) led the police officers to believe you were in violation of the DUI law. Probable cause is considered by the jury when they evaluate arrests for drunk driving. If there’s an objective belief that a motorist has committed a crime, there is probable cause.
Impact of Distracted Driving Laws
To reduce the impact of distracted driving, all states have been slowly implementing regulations to ensure that motorists focus their minds and eyes on driving while they’re behind the wheel. The most common legislation includes bans on texting and hand-held phone use, which have been enacted by a majority of states.
For certain motorist groups, such as teen drivers and school bus drivers, the distracted driving legislation is stricter and bans all cellphone use while driving.
In fact, most of the states are continuously updating their distracted driving laws by increasing penalties to reduce the number of violations. In 2017, the texting while driving penalty was increased to $300 from $50 in Colorado. Even Arkansas updated its texting ban to include social media use while driving.
But are these laws effective in combating distracted driving?
As per a study published in 2014 by the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), primary texting bans led to a 3 percent drop in accidents. Texting bans for young drivers were effective in bringing down fatalities by 11 percent.
For drivers above the age of 21, the most effective regulation was a ban on the use of hand-held devices. When you look at these results, you will notice that the effectiveness of a law is related to the type of ban enforced.
In another study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, it was found that the law’s effectiveness depended on two things — whether it was just a texting ban or a total hand-held phone ban and who was targeted by the ban.
- In states where there’s a complete ban on hand-held phone use, around 55 percent fewer phone conversations were reported among teenage drivers.
- Universal bans on all use of hand-held devices do impact the use of cellphones while driving for teenagers. However, texting bans aren’t really effective in discouraging teens from texting while driving.
- Bans targeted at just young drivers weren’t effective in either reducing phone conversations or texting among this age group.
Usually, when there’s a universal hand-held phone ban, motorists forgo calling or texting because they can’t explain their behavior if caught. However, if there’s just a texting ban, they might make claims about using the phone for calling instead of texting when caught.
In addition, it’s simpler for police officers to enforce cellphone ban regulations if there’s a universal ban on the use of hand-held phones, as they will not be required to assess each case differently.
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Distracted Driving Among Teenagers
Young drivers with little experience are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident if they use a cellphone while driving. The likelihood of engaging in distracted driving is pretty high among teens, as they’re constantly using social media and watching videos on their phones these days.
As per the Journal of Adolescent Health, around 40 percent of teenage drivers have used their cellphone for texting or emailing while driving in the past 30 days.
- In this survey cohort, around 38 percent of the young drivers said that they texted at least once, around 22 percent texted sometimes, while 16 percent of the drivers texted frequently.
- Texting while driving among young drivers was highest in South Dakota and the lowest in Maryland. In Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming, more than 50 percent of the teenagers reported texting or emailing at least once a day while driving in the past month.
Distracted Driving Laws for Teenagers
For novice drivers, cellphone use is completely banned across 39 states and Washington D.C. Because of the dangers associated with teenage distracted driving, most of the states have enacted strict laws to curtail this particular distraction.
Other than the restrictions on cellphone use, many states also have the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads when teens start driving.
The GDL program divides driver training for teenagers into phases, i.e., learner stage, intermediate stage, and full privilege stage. During each stage, young drivers are required to abide by certain restrictions and avoid violations to progress to the next stage.
- In the intermediate stage, 46 states and Washington D.C. restrict the number of passengers who can accompany a young driver in the car. Engaging in conversations with fellow passengers is one of the major causes of distracted driving accidents, and by restricting the number of passengers, lawmakers intend to help drivers stay focused on driving.
- Young drivers are also required to be accompanied by a licensed driver above the age of 21 who can keep an eye on things.
When it comes to DUI laws for underage drivers, lawmakers have no tolerance for any trace of alcohol in a driving teenager’s system. It’s illegal to drink under age 21 anyway, and drinking and driving is particularly dangerous for inexperienced drivers.
The penalties for underage DUI can be pretty harsh and might include fines, license suspensions until the age of 21, vehicle impoundment, points on the individual’s driving record, community service, and imprisonment.
Teen Driver Safety
Distracted driving is the cause of six out of 10 serious accidents among teenagers. It’s important to talk to your children about staying focused when they’re behind the wheel; their life may depend on it. Drivers in the age group of 16-19 are much more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than drivers over the age of 20.
Studies show that only 25 percent of parents talk to their kids about safe driving habits. Many parents think their children understand they need to be safe on the road; however, you’d be surprised what kids get up to when they’re out with their friends. Have this conversation, even if you don’t think you need to.
- Know the GDL laws in your state and make sure that your children are abiding by each one of them while they first start driving. A single violation at the learner’s or intermediate stage can ruin their record for a long time.
- Being a good role model and avoiding distractions like cellphones goes a long way toward instilling the right behavior in your kids. No matter how important a call from your work might be, just avoid it while you’re driving with your kids.
- You may also consider drawing out a parent-teen driving agreement to lay out the rules that you expect them to follow when they’re learning to drive.
Car Insurance Rates
If you’re involved in an accident or you get a ticket for distracted driving, your insurance company will take notice, as these increase the likelihood of a claim. If you’re caught time and again using your cellphone or drinking and driving, you might be categorized as a high-risk driver.
As a high-risk driver, it’s exceedingly difficult to get car insurance, especially at a reasonable rate.
Distracted Driving vs. Drunk Driving
Although both cellphone use while driving and drunk driving can be dangerous depending on the situation, DUI usually has harsher penalties because it’s considered riskier and claims more lives.
However, according to a survey by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, people are more afraid of distracted drivers than drunk drivers. That might just be the fear of people in this survey cohort, as the number of fatalities from drunk driving is much higher than distracted driving.
- Distracted driving led to 3,166 fatalities in 2017, while drunk driving claims more than 10,000 lives in a year. By that number only, we can assess that drunk driving can be much more dangerous.
- Distracted driving is, however, not easy to prove and each state has varying laws over the use of a cellphone while driving. Moreover, it’s difficult to track the number of accidents as a result of distracted driving because motorists may lie or believe their cellphone use was not the cause of an accident.
- All the states have laws banning the consumption of alcohol before/while driving and police officers can enforce this law by checking the BAC levels of motorists. This makes it easier to record drunk driving crashes.
How does a Ticket/Violation Impact Car Insurance Rates
You might fight in court to reduce your penalties for DUI or using your cellphone while driving, but there’s one thing that you will not able to change — an increase in your car insurance premiums.
The moment a ticket or violation is reflected on your record, insurance companies consider you a potential risk for future accidents, and that impacts your rate now.
|State||Accident/Violation||Geico Monthly||Geico 6-Month||Geico Annual||Rate Increase||Progressive |
|Rate Increase||Farmers |
|Rate Increase||Nationwide |
|Florida||Clean Record||$141.12||$846.70||$1,693.40||N/A||$167.17||$1,003.00||$2,006.00||N/A||$426.60||$2,559.60||$5,119.20||N/A||Not Available in FL||-||-||-|
|South Carolina||Cell Phone/Texting||$175.70||$1,054.20||$2,108.40||13.49%||NA||NA||NA||NA||-||-||-||-||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|South Carolina||Clean Record||$154.82||$928.90||$1,857.80||N/A||$89.17||$535.00||$1,070.00||N/A||Not Available in SC||-||-||-||$135.21||$811.25||$1,622.50||N/A|
We have done some research to show you how distracted or drunk driving violations can impact your rates in three states — South Carolina, California, and Florida. Keeping the driver profile the same in every scenario, we have taken quotes from four insurance providers. This data clearly shows that DUI violations lead to higher rates, and if you’re in California, you will see a significant rise in premiums after any violation.
Distracted driving laws are constantly evolving with the intention to make the roads safer for everyone. Though prison time for texting might seem a little harsh, it’s for your own good, as taking your eyes or mind off of driving can be fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can speed cameras catch you on your phone?
None of the speed or red-light cameras are used to catch motorists using their cellphones as of now. However, a Maryland suburb is considering installing highway cameras to capture violators who use cellphones while driving. If implemented, this would be a first in the country.
Can law enforcement obtain cell phone records for someone who texted behind the wheel?
The simple answer is: police officers can obtain call records after an accident if there was evidence of distracted driving. Though it involves getting permission from the court, it’s not uncommon to search the phone records of motorists after major accidents.
Can a police officer check your phone to see if you were using it while driving?
Just like obtaining cellphone records, police officers need search permission to check your cellphone, but that usually doesn’t happen because of privacy laws. If they need information about your activities, they usually order a call record.
Can you get a ticket for texting at a red light?
It’s a gray area — some states clearly state that the vehicle must be in motion for a texting while driving violation, while other states don’t mention anything about a red-light stop. It’s always better to abstain from using your cellphone when you’re behind the wheel, no matter what.
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