Wisconsin Texting While Driving: What You Should Know

By now Wisconsin drivers should know that you can no longer send text messages or emails while driving.[1] A ticket can cost you between $20 and $400, and 4 demerit points against your Wisconsin driver’s license. Plus, if you receive 12 or more demerit points in a 12-month period, you’re also facing a 6-month license suspension. That’s not including the effect it can have on your auto insurance rates, and the safety of others on the road with you.

Obviously, all drivers should take care of any text messages or emails before leaving, or upon arriving at the destination. However, it’s becoming more common that cars have Bluetooth built-in to the audio system, and phones with voice activation. The statute expressly authorizes voice-controlled or hands-free system use: so long as the process requires no more than a button-push to activate or deactivate it.[2] But if you have a probationary license or a driver’s permit, there’s more: you cannot use a phone at all, except to place an emergency call.[3] Plus, the demerit points are doubled for a second or subsequent ticket of any kind, increasing the likelihood of a license suspension and extending the probationary period.

Although we’re all familiar with the risk involved in texting and driving, if you are facing a ticket for texting while driving or inattentive driving, call the attorneys at Mastantuono Law Office at (414) 276-8662. The initial consultation is always free.

This post is for informational purposes only: it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

[1] Wis. Stat. § 346.89(3)(a).

[2] Wis. Stat. § 346.89(3)(a)4.

[3] Wis. Stat. § 346.89(4).


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