Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cell phone use while driving is the number one cause of driver distraction. Distracted driving can lead to unsafe driving and even death. Distracted driving laws in most states treat distracted driving as a crime, with penalties including fines, jail time, and license suspensions.
Given these stiff penalties, you may be wondering if there is any way to get off the hook. As such it is not uncommon for individuals to think: “Oh, there is no video evidence that I was distracted while driving. Let me explore my options by requesting a lie detector test. I’ll pass it. No worries.” Well, it is not as simple as that.
The Legality of Requesting a Lie Detector Test to Avoid a Distracted Driving Charge
While it may seem legal to request a lie detector test in order to avoid a distracted driving charge, it may come as a surprise that lie detector tests are not admissible as evidence in court proceedings. This is due, in part, to the fact that polygraph tests are often perceived as being unreliable. Additionally, the Supreme Court has held that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination protects individuals from having to take a polygraph test.
How Does the North Carolina Law View Distracted Driving?
Various states have different rules regarding using a mobile phone while driving and other forms of distracted driving. For the state of North Carolina, texting, emailing, taking photos, etc., while driving is illegal. However, it is permitted to talk on a cellphone while driving.
No calling is allowed though, for drivers under the age of 18 (drivers with provisional licenses), save for if they are phoning their parents or emergency responders. School bus drivers are not permitted to use a cell phone or any other mobile device while the vehicle moves.
When Can You Text in a Vehicle in North Carolina?
It is legal to text in a vehicle in North Carolina when the car is parked. Not at a red light, or at a stop sign, but properly off the road. When the car is in motion, it is illegal to text or use a cell phone in any way that would take your attention away from the road. This includes talking on the phone, reading texts, or using social media. If you are caught violating this law, you could face a fine of at least $100 and all court costs.
What are the Odds of Getting Let Off From a Distracted Driving Charge?
The best way to avoid getting charged with a distracted driving offense is to simply put your phone away and focus on the road. While you want to try to get out of a distracted driving charge by requesting a lie detector test, it is not recommended.
We however recommend that you contact an attorney at Coastal South Law. We can protect your rights in court and help you defend against distracted driving charges in North Carolina.