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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

Distracted driving

Many states now have laws against texting and driving, which I think we can all agree is a good thing. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that every day more than nine people die from distracted driving.

If you think you will not get caught, think again. In the case of a serious car accident, police might make the driver release phone records. There is a pending bill in Maryland that states that a driver would be required to provide an officer with his or her cell phone number, service provider and any email accounts associated with the phone if the officer has “reasonable grounds” to believe use of the phone contributed to the accident.

I predict other states will soon follow suit.

Is this a violation of our right to privacy? Consider that most states allow a blood test if you are involved in a serious auto accident. Is a blood test more invasive than giving police your phone information?

In short, the best advice is to not drive and text at the same time. The life you save may be your own.

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