Alabama’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws

Read about Alabama’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

Alabama’s distracted driving laws prohibit text messaging for all drivers and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs of a texting or cellphone ticket.

Talking on a Cellphone

For most Alabama motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cellphone while driving.

However, for motorists who are under the age of 18 and driving with a Stage II license, all handheld communication device use is prohibited while operating a vehicle.

Fines and points for violations. An underage cellphone or texting ticket is considered a traffic violation. The penalties for a violation include $150 to $350 in fines, and two demerit points will be added to the motorist’s driving record.

Texting Messaging

Alabama law prohibits all motorists from operating a vehicle on a public road, street, or highway while using a wireless telecommunication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication. As used in the texting law, “text-based communications” include email, instant messages, and regular text messages.

Exceptions. The texting ban doesn’t apply to:

  • wireless device use to obtain emergency services (such as police or emergency medical care)
  • anyone using a device while parked on the shoulder of a highway, road, or street, or
  • using a wireless device as a GPS or navigation system to receive driving directions that were preprogrammed.

Fines and points. A texting ticket carries a $25 fine for a first violation, a $50 fine for a second violation, and a $75 fine for a third or subsequent violation. A texting violation will also add two points to the motorist’s driving record.

Other Possible Charges

Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cellphone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.

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