Man accused of texting while driving drunk in Chicago area

A Des Plaines man also accused of drunk driving could be the first area motorist to be cited for texting while driving, the Chicago Breaking News Center reported.

As reported on Abels & Annes’ Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, the new law makes it illegal to text message, e-mail or surf the Internet while driving. The effort, aimed at reducing Chicago car accidents and fatal Illinois traffic accidents, also outlaws the use of cell phones in school zones or construction sites.

Violating the law will result in a $75 fine. In serious cases, such as fatal accidents, police may subpoena a driver’s cell phone records if it’s believed they were texting at the time the crash.

In this case, the man was spotted at about 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 2 — one day after the new ban went into effect — weaving across the center line in the 700 block of North River Road. Authorities reported pulling the driver over after seeing him texting on a cell phone.

The officer smelled alcohol and administered field sobriety tests to the 39-year-old man. He was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license, improper lane usage for crossing the center line twice in a one-block span, and illegal use of communications for texting.

Authorities reported it is his third DUI offense.

As reported on Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, someone is killed every 45 minutes by a drunk driving accident.

In 2008, 11,773 of the nation’s 37,261 fatal accidents were caused by a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fatal Illinois drunk driving accidents accounted for 362 of 1,043 traffic fatalities in 2008.

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