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Is Drunk Driving More Dangerous Than Texting and Driving?

Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI attorney, drunk drivingThere are two things we have undoubtedly heard innumerable times to avoid while driving a vehicle: drinking and texting. Yet society as a whole continues to attempt these behaviors. Up until recent years, the most deadly mischief tried on the road was drinking and driving. However, with the rise in text messaging and social media, texting while operating a motor vehicle gives DUI stiff competition for the top spot on the most dangerous list.

For Your Well-Being

Which is more likely to bring danger to yourself or others? The answer is both as drinking and driving and texting while driving are unnecessary and extremely dangerous distractions, and each reduces a driver's response time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the impairments are quite similar. Recent studies lean toward texting being the most dangerous of the two behaviors. Consider the following statistics:

  • Drunk driving prevalence is decreasing, and texting is increasing;
  • Taking your eyes off the road for five seconds for a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes completely closed;
  • Sober drivers take 0.54 seconds to break;
  • Drunk drivers needed an additional four feet to stop;
  • Drivers reading a text required 36 feet to stop;
  • 70 feet are necessary to stop while sending a text; and
  • Reaction time decreases by 35 percent while texting, and is only 12 percent slower while drunk.

Legal Viewpoint

The charge of distracted driving using a handheld device is still trying to find comparable penalties in the legal world. Consider years ago where drinking and driving were understood to be dangerous, yet the legal repercussions did not match the belief. Hence, more individuals pushed the limit. The same holds true now for texting and driving. Although the behavior is clearly more dangerous than DUI, penalties do not reflect the severity of the crime, punishing drunk drivers worse than the texters. Compare the two sets of potential sentences:

  • Drunk Driving: Six months of suspension from driving privileges for failing a breathalyzer, license revocation for one year after conviction, and vehicle registration suspension.

  • Distracted Driving: A citation of $75.00, but the ability to retain driving privileges.

Charged with DUI?

It is unclear whether texting or drinking while driving is more dangerous to a driver’s future. One prohibits driving privileges and has an immediate impact on many families. The other is a quick slap on the wrist. Both have the ability to kill the driver or someone else. Still, if you have a DUI charge, you will have a difficult legal battle and should retain skilled legal counsel. If you have been charged with DUI and would like to discuss your case with a proven DuPage County, IL DUI attorney, contact McMahon Law Offices today by calling 630-953-4400. We proudly offer a free and confidential initial consultation.






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