Texting while Driving Laws Expose DUI Hypocrisy

Texting while driving is becoming more and more prevalent on our roadways.  We hear about the horrible accidents and the unfortunate loss of life.

In the interests of protecting the public, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided to take strict action to eradicate the problem.  The harsh punishment they attached to driving while texting is a $50 fine.  Then they have the nerve to say that the fine isn’t deterring drivers.

People’s lives are at risk and 57 people died from texting while driving in 2012 according to AAA.  This is the same argument that is used to push harsher penalties for DUI.  Drunk driving is dangerous and people are dying.  For a DUI you will normally face jail time, heavy fines, and a license suspension.  A $50 fine is a joke.

Comparison of DUI penalties vs. driving while texting penalties in PA


DUI Penalties (Highest Rate 1st offense) Driving while Texting Penalties
  • Ungraded Misdemeanor
  • Prison Sentence from 3 days up to 6 months
  • 12 month license suspension
  • $500-$5,000 fine
  •  $50
  • no points on the license
  • no jail
  • no loss of license

A $50 fine is the same as double parking or a street sweeping violation in York (parking in front of a hyrant is $100).

I don’t get it.  Why the difference?  Why the hypocrisy?  Can someone please explain this to me?

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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