[7/20/17] Dangerously Distracted

Posted in Feature, Law Enforcement, Transportation

Beginning Sunday July 23, 2017, it will be against the law for Washington drivers to use hand-held cell phones while they are driving. This includes all electronic devices, even tablets, laptops and video games. Tickets for driving while using hand-held electronics will go on your record and be reported to your insurance provider.

No Hand-Held Cell Phone Use While Driving

  • Even when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light

  • No typing messages or accessing information

  • No watching videos or using cameras

You CAN Use Your Device If You Are:

  • Hands-free (such as using Bluetooth) and can start use by a single touch or swipe without holding the phone

  • Parked or out-of-the-flow of traffic

  • Starting your GPS or music before you drive

  • Contacting emergency services

Electronics DUI (E-DUI) Ticket Cost

A Driving Under the Influence of Electronics ticket, an E-DUI, is the type of ticket drivers will receive if pulled over for using a hand-held electronic device while driving. The cost for receiving an E-DUI increases with each infraction. All violations will be available to your insurance company.

First E-DUI – $136

Second E-DUI (within 5 years) – $234

Not Included in the Law

  • Transit and emergency vehicle drivers are exempt. Drivers of commercial vehicles must follow federal laws.

  • Two-way radio, citizens band radio, or amateur radio equipment are not included in the law.

Dangerously Distracted

You can also get a $99 ticket for other types of distractions such as grooming, smoking, eating, or reading if the activity interferes with safe driving, and you are pulled over for another traffic offense.


  • Fatalities from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015 in Washington.

  • 71 percent of distracted drivers engage in the most dangerous distraction, cell phone use behind the wheel

  • One out of four crashes involves cell phone use just prior to the crash.