State and federal laws change often, and it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with all the adjustments. Illinois has made some significant updates to current traffic laws that every driver should be aware of. Here is what you need to know before you get behind the wheel.

Texting and Driving Increases Offense

Distracted driving has always been dangerous, but Illinois lawmakers decided to increase the penalty for distracted driving in order to further discourage drivers from looking at their phone instead of the road. Beginning July 1, Illinois made operating a handheld motor device while driving a moving violation. This means if you are caught driving while using your cell phone or other device, you will receive a ticket, pay a fine, and have the violation on your driving record. Three moving violations per year on your record could lead to license suspension.

Remember, while the media buzz over this law points to texting and driving, it can be any type of driving while using your device – checking your email, calling your office, etc.

Wrong-Way Driving Can Now Be an Aggravating Factor

Wrong-way driving causes serious vehicle accidents throughout the state. In fact, crash data for the Chicagoland expressways during the years 2005 – 2012 notes that wrong-way driving caused approximately 198 crashes during that timeframe.

Illinois law changed in January of this year to make “wrong-way” driving an aggravating offense for DUI incidents. This means if you are found to be driving the wrong way while under the influence, the judge can use this fact to extend your sentence or increase penalties.

Even the best and most diligent drivers can sometimes find themselves in need of an attorney for guidance and representation. Our team at Gandhi Selim Law has extensive experience in serving our clients with dignity and respect. We will do our best to review your case and advocate for your best interests. Call us to get started today.

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