Texting While Driving Defense

Texting While Driving can lead to loss of your license

Michael J. Zarrella, Esq

Law Office Address:

127 Dorrance Street

Providence Rhode island 02903

Cell: 401-523-5271

Office 401-490-6820

Fax: 401-490-3207


DUI Defense Blog

Rhode Island's best DUI blog

Attorney Michael Zarrella's blog is very informative with respect to DUI law, criminal defense and many of the trends in the Rhode Island judical system. Lawyers often read attorney Zarrella's blog to keep abreast of recent updates in the law.

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Rhode Island Texting While Driving Lawyer

You Need a Lawyer if you are charged with Texting While Driving

The Rhode Island General Asssembly has enacted legislation making it illegal to text message, instant message, electronic message or e-mail while operating a motor vehicle. Based on this legislation, the Rhode Island State Police as well as many local police departments have cracked down heavily on texting while driving. Furthermore, many of the judges and magistrates of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal have been suspending motorist's licenses for texting while driving, even if it is that person's first offense. Do not go at it alone.

If you have been stopped for a traffic ticket for texting while driving, call criminal defense attorney Michael J. Zarrella to discuss your case. Often people go to court only to find out that their license has gotten suspended. Do not wait until it is too late. You need to go to court with an Attorney that will help you keep your license.




   § 31-22-30  Text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. – (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   (1) "Hands Free" means the manner in which a wireless handset is operated for the purpose of composing, reading or sending text messages, by using an internal feature or function, or through an attachment or addition, including but not limited to, an earpiece, headset, remote microphone or short range wireless connection, thereby allowing the user to operate said device without the use of hands.

   (2) "Inoperability" means a motor vehicle that is incapable of being operated or being operated in a safe and prudent manner due to mechanical failure, including but not limited to, engine overheating or tire failure.

   (3) "Motor Vehicle" means any vehicle that is self-propelled by a motor, including but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, vans, construction vehicles, etc.

   (4) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, unincorporated association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock association or other entity or business organization of any kind.

   (5) "Stopped" means not in motion.

   (6) "Text Message", also referred to as short messaging service (SMS) means the process by which users send, read, or receive messages on a wireless handset, including but not limited to, text messages, instant messages, electronic messages or e-mails, in order to communicate with any person or device.

   (7) "Use" means to hold a wireless handset in one's hands.

   (8) "Wireless Handset" means a portable electronic or computing device, including cellular telephones and digital personal assistants (PDAs), capable of transmitting data in the form of a text message.

   (b) No person shall use a wireless handset to compose, read or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle on any public street or public highway within the state of Rhode Island.

   (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b), this section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of any wireless handset by:

   (1) Any law enforcement, public safety or police officers, emergency services officials, first aid, emergency medical technicians and personnel, and fire safety officials in the performance of duties arising out of and in the course of their employment as such;

   (2) A person using a wireless handset to contact an individual listed in subsection (c)(1); or

   (3) A person using a wireless handset inside a motor vehicle while such motor vehicle is parked, standing or stopped and is removed from the flow of traffic, in accordance with applicable laws, rules or ordinances, or is stopped due to the inoperability of such motor vehicle.

   (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person operating a motor vehicle from utilizing a hands-free wireless handset.

   (e) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of eighty-five dollars ($85.00), or a license suspension for up to thirty (30) days, or both; for a second conviction shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100), or a license suspension for up to three (3) months, or both; and for a third or subsequent conviction a person shall be subject to a fine of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125), or a license suspension for up to six (6) months, or both. All violations arising out of this section shall be heard in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

ants and some lawyers often mistakenly believe that if you fail a blood test in a DUI case, you have no chance of winning your DUI case. This is simply untrue. Blood test results are often very difficult to prove in court. The results can be excluded for manydifferent technical reasons. In addition, there are other challenges to the blood that may lead to the results not being admitted as evidence or becoming problematic for the State. Just because you have been arrested for a DUI and failed a blood test does not mean you will automatically get convicted.