According to Alabama Code § 32-5A-350, it is against the law to use a cellular telephone or other similar device to send or receive text based communications, including text messages, instant or direct messages, pictures, and electronic mail while operating a motor vehicle on a public road, street, or highway. The penalty is $25.00 for a first violation, $50.00 for a second violation, and $75.00 for a third or subsequent violation.
Violation of the statute can be the primary or sole reason for being stopped by a law enforcement officer. This means that a law enforcement officer can stop a motorist for texting and driving without witnessing any other moving violation. If someone is texting and driving, an officer can stop that driver and issue a ticket, even if the driver is following all of the other rules of the road at the time.
Although texting is illegal, the statue allows the user of a device to “read, select, or enter” a telephone number in a device for the purpose of making a call while driving. The statute also allows for the sending and receiving of messages with voice operated devices when driving an automobile. Continue reading