The textalyzer sounds like the name of a villain in a comic book series. If New York State gets its way, the textalyzer will soon accompany police officers and be part of driving while texting case investigations, as one of the tests conducted at the point of investigation following a car accident or suspected drunk driving incident, like the breathalyzer and field sobriety testing. The textalyzer is a device that determines if the vehicle driver was texting while driving.
Use of Handheld Devices While Driving Laws in Texas
Most states ban texting while driving. Texas, however, has been reluctant to implement a statewide ban and have left the task of implementing such laws to individual counties and municipalities. The cities of Austin and San Antonio, two of the largest in Texas, have ordinances that prohibit the use of handheld devices while driving and riding a bicycle. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five car crashes is caused by a distracted driver – whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device.
Distracted driving is on the rise and is causing many injuries and fatalities similar to the injuries and fatalities caused by drunk drivers the 1980s. People text, talk on the phone, take selfies, or snap chat while driving. The result are horrific accidents leading to death and serious injuries of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
New York Proposal
New York is proposing that at traffic stops or accident scenes the police will check the mobile phones of all drivers by running a diagnostic test that taps into the mobile devices’ operating systems to check recent activity. The textalyzer will record time, method used – text, voice, or email, or social media postings – only. Failure to hand over the phone will be treated just like a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, leading to possible driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Distracted Driving Awareness Campaigns Similar to MADD Campaigns Against Drunk Driving
The Partnership for Distraction Free Driving is placing pressure on social media companies to discourage multitasking by driver’s similar to the public service announcement (PSA) campaigns run by liquor and beer companies that discourage drunk driving. Other companies, like mobile service provider AT&T’s “It can wait” PSA, focus on the dangers of texting while driving. In the AT&T campaign, the texts sent by the driver prior to the fatal crash are read by a narrator as the car crash is reenacted in the video and the viewer learns the driver died.
Every DWI Case is Unique
A good DWI defense attorney will guide you through every step of the DWI process – from arrest and arraignment to plea or trial. At The Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker, P.C., we represent people accused of DWI in the Plano and surrounding areas of Denton County Texas. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, contact us for a comprehensive case evaluation.