Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Texting and Driving in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, it is illegal to text and drive. However, laws seem to have proven ineffective in solving the problem of distracted driving. Road fatalities increased, approximately 8% in 2015.

What does this mean? Legislators are trying to change this modern behavior- many state officials are pushing to treat distracted driving similarly to drunk driving!  So- what does this mean? If you snapchat and drive- you better watch out for the Textalyzer.

This technology would allow police officers a device that is similar to a Breathalyzer- it could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email, or do anything else that is forbidden under hands-free laws, like those in Maryland. This type of legislation seems unlikely for a few major reasons:

1. Privacy concerns.   At the moment, the police can obtain a warrant for cellphone records. However, this process is time consuming and often fruitless.  This type of legislation would allow police to seize phones without real justification or warrant. This would pose a threat to many of the liberties of American citizens.

2. Changing the meaning of implied consent. In the state of Maryland, when drivers obtain a license, they are consenting in ADVANCE to a Breathalyzer test. If they refuse this test, they face the consequences of a suspended license.  Legislators are trying to correlate implied consent of one test to a wholly different other.  An individual's civil liberties must be protected.  On the contrary, Deborah Hersman, the president of the nonprofit National Safety Council, said the Textalyzer-Breathalyzer comparison was logical because "why are we making a distinction between a substance you consume and one that consumes you?"

If you have been charged with DUI, drunk driving or distracted driving, call today to speak to an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer at (410)-995-1515.

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