Since 2014, South Carolina law has prohibited texting while driving. This type of distracted driving is universally recognized as dangerous. Drivers who use their cell phones behind the wheel are more prone to causing accidents and pose a serious risk to those around them. Many argue that these risks are similar to the risks that intoxicated or impaired drivers impose on others. Many states, including South Carolina, are considering creating “e-DUI” laws that ban motorists from driving under the influence of their cell phones. In other words, a total ban on cell phone use behind the wheel.
Some South Carolina lawmakers are trying to strengthen the state’s texting while driving ban to make the penalties for this crime more akin to penalties someone could face for a DUI conviction. While state legislators debate changing the law, police officers are on the lookout for those who violate the current law. This means that South Carolina drivers face a crackdown on distracted driving across the state. A South Carolina E-DUI lawyer can help you navigate these charges and face accusations of distracted driving. Contact a distinguished attorney about your case.
Texting While Driving Laws
Nearly every state bans some form of cell phone use while driving. Most states have texting while driving bans that are quite similar to current South Carolina law. Motorists are prohibited from texting, emailing, or sending other electronic messages via their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. However, there are many exceptions to this law.
A driver stopped at a red light can legally text behind the wheel. State law does not currently ban other cell phone use beyond electronic messaging. South Carolina drivers can legally browse the internet, post to social media, and play games on their cell phones. The current law only prohibits texting while driving. Moreover, drivers found in violation of this law are only cited $25.
Impact of Driving While Distracted
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated nine people die each day in distracted driving accidents across the United States. According to the CDC, distracted driving caused nearly 10 percent of all traffic deaths in 2015 alone, making it nearly as deadly as intoxicated or impaired driving.
The danger that cell phone use while driving poses has driven many state lawmakers to pursue more serious offenses and penalties for distracted drivers. While an e-DUI is not a current traffic charge in South Carolina, this push to stiffen penalties for drivers’ cell phone use is leading to a stricter enforcement of the current texting ban. Individuals facing this offense should contact a South Carolina E-DUI lawyer about any concerns this new legislation brings.
Local Consequences for an E-DUI
As noted above, South Carolina law only bans texting while driving, though with some notable exceptions. Drivers who break the law face just a $25 citation, rather than a criminal offense. Law enforcement officers do not report texting while driving citations to a driver’s insurance company. Even though the legal penalties may seem low, South Carolina police are cracking down on violators given the legislature’s focus on introducing an e-DUI law. As the law evolves, South Carolina drivers should stay aware of these changes and contact a South Carolina E-DUI lawyer for any charges you may be facing.