What You Need to Know: Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (DUIE)

  • New Law in Washington State—Effective July 23, 2017
  • Texting and holding cell phone to ear while driving is already illegal.
  • This new bill forbids handheld uses, including composition or reading of any kind of message, picture or data as well as photography while driving.
  • Drivers cannot use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal.
  • Drivers may still use a smartphone mounted in a dashboard cradle, for instance to use a navigation app, but not to watch a video. The new law permits “minimal use of a finger” to activate an app or device.
  • Drivers may still use built-in electronic systems, such as hands-free calling and maps.
  • Amateur radio equipment and citizens-band radio remain legal.
  • Handheld devices may be used once the driver has pulled off the roadway where the vehicle “can safely remain stationary.”
  • First offense fine is $136; second offense (within 5 years) fine is $235.
  • A DUIE is a primary offense meaning you can be pulled over just for using handheld device.
  • A DUIE ticket will be reported to insurance companies which will have an impact on the offender’s insurance rate, just as a speeding ticket would.
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