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Tough new laws for texters, teens, drunks

A persistent drunk driver continues to need to complete a level II alcohol and drug education and treatment program. But now once driving privileges are restored the driver must also hold a restricted license that mandates the use of an ignition interlock device.

The one-year waiting period has been reduced to one month, for drivers over the age of 21, to apply for early reinstatement of their driving privileges with an ignition interlock-restricted license for persistent drunk drivers. The waiting period is now only two months for those who refused tests.

Connecticut: Laws concerning vehicles with snow and ice on them and distracted drivers affect drivers:

Clean off vehicle - The day before the New Year, Connecticut enacted a law requiring commercial motor vehicle to remove snow from the roofs, trucks and hoods or the operator could be fined from $75 to $1,250.  The stiffer penalties ($500 to $1,250) are reserved for when flying elements cause personal or property damage.  Parked vehicles and vehicles already in motion when snow, sleet or freezing rain starts are exempt.


Distracted driving - Fines have been increased for motorists that use a handheld cellphone or other electronic device while driving.  A first offense will now be $150, a second $200 and subsequent convictions a fine of $400 to $500.  The new law requires the DMV place the conviction violation on a driver's motor vehicle record and assess at least one point.


Also, laws were updated to now prohibit drivers from using their cellphone when a vehicle is temporarily stopped due to traffic, road conditions or traffic signal devices or signs.

Illinois:  New laws allow drivers to go faster, but tell them to stay off their cellphones.

The maximum speed limit on toll-roads and interstate highways was increased from 65 mph to 70 mph.

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