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Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that, as part of CaliforniaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, Police Departments in Orange County, including the Newport Beach Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, and Huntington Beach Police Departments will be emphasizing Ã¢â‚¬Å“zero tolerance enforcementÃ¢â‚¬Â for cell phone use and texting while driving.
Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk, joining speeding and alcohol as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes.Ã‚Â As a result, law enforcement across the state, are increasingly cracking down on cell phone use and texting.Ã‚Â Starting April 4 thÃ‚Â and throughout the month,Ã‚Â over 225 local agencies plus 103 CHP Area Commands conducting zero tolerance enforcements, many of which will result in Orange County DUI arrests.
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.Ã‚Â Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver.
What’s interesting about this is the discrepancy in punishment.Ã‚Â A “TWD” (texting while driving) ticket costs $159.Ã‚Â A DUI can cost a criminal record, plus $13,000 in fees.Ã‚Â If law enforcement recognizes distracted driving as just as dangerous, and says that the purpose, then, is protection of the public through deterrence of dangerous conduct, then, why is the focus today solely on alcohol? Ã‚Â As IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve mentioned in previous posts, numerous studies all indicate that, for example, driving while using a cell phone, distracted driving (eating, putting on lipstick in the rear-view mirror) and driving while drowsy are at least as dangerous as drunk driving.Ã‚Â Yet we largely ignore these types of life-threatening conduct, while continuing to focus laws and law enforcement on drinking and driving.