Texting while driving is a common way to get pulled over in Georgia. Below is a short summary of the law and what is allowed and what is not allowed in Georgia and the penalties for violations of the law:
What is allowed:
1) Earpieces and headphones;
2) Apple Watches;
3) Siri- you can press one button to activate your siri assistant on your device;
4) You can use your GPS but cannot type in an address while you are moving.
**You are allowed to make emergency calls for emergency situations without using a hands-free device. It is relatively unlikely however that you will be pulled over for a situation where you are making an emergency call.
What is NOT allowed:
1) Taking off your seatbelt to reach for your phone;
2) holding or supporting your phone with any part of your body (it cannot be sitting in your lap)
3) Any type of messaging (text, Facebook, email or other type of message)
4) Recording any type of video while you drive ( if there were to be a legal search of your information, you should not have a live video or picture posted to your social media account while driving or that evidence may be used against you)
All violations of this section of Title 40 of the traffic code are misdemeanors.
1st Violation- Up to a $50 fine and 1 Point on your license
**If it is your first offense and you are able to show a receipt that you have purchased a hands-free device, your fine will be waived and there will be no points assessed on your driver's license.
2nd Violation- Up to a $100 fine and 2 Points on your license
3rd Violation- Up to a $150 fine along with 3 Points on your license
Note: Many DUI cases and other types of criminal investigations begin with a stop for someone using their phone while driving. You may also be held liable for personal injuries or property damage if it is proven that you were using a mobile device while driving. It is important to make sure that you have a hands-free device to avoid any negative consequences to you, your license or another person due to using a mobile device while driving.
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Blog posts by Bill Hardman at DUI Blog and Case Results