Texting is more Dangerous than DUI. But the punishment is way different.
Texting is more dangerous than DUI. More teens die annually from texting while driving than for driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. And more accidents occur from texting than DUI, making texting more dangerous than DUI.
Dr. Andrew Adesman, Chief Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children’s Medical Center the chief author of the study, found that laws against texting while driving are not effective. Fifty-seven percent of boys said they text while driving in states with texting laws, and 59 percent said they text while driving in states that don’t have texting laws, according to the study.
So, while texting and driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens, you would expect the punishment to be higher than for DUI, right?
Not here in California. It is fairly well publicized that a first DUI can cost 16,000, and even more for those under 21, or for those with priors or accidents. But texting, no matter what the consequences, carries a fairly low $300 standard fine here in California.
In Central California, A 20-year-old woman who was texting while driving caused major and fatal injuries to a group of teens was sentenced this past Wednesday.
Mia Sara Aguiar received five years’ probation, a 30-day jail term that may be served through a work program and 400 hours of community service after pleading no contest in a plea deal to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with an enhancement of causing injury to multiple victims.
Aguiar was driving westbound on Highway 120 at speeds reaching 65 mph in a 45 mph zone near Comconext Road on April 16, when she drifted onto the shoulder while either texting or reaching for her cell phone after 1 a.m.
She struck four teenagers walking along the shoulder after they left the same party Aguiar had attended. Zachariah Gomez, 14, died and the three others were severely injured.
DUI Attorney Lawrence Taylor has said that this inherent bias, which he calls the “DUI exception to the constitution”, is a remnant from prohibition. Texting is seen as “less bad” because it doesn’t have the stigma of alcohol consumption. As an Orange County DUI Lawyer, I can only agree.