CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gershowitz on Texting While Driving and Warrantless Cell Phone Searches

Gershowitz_adamAdam M. Gershowitz (William & Mary Law School) has posted Texting While Driving Meets the Fourth Amendment: Deterring Both Texting and Warrantless Cell Phone Searches (Arizona Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Recent laws criminalizing texting while driving are under-inclusive, ambiguous, and impose light punishments that are unlikely to deter. At the same time, the laws empower police to conduct warrantless searches of drivers’ cell phones. Texting while driving is dangerous and should be punished with stiff fines, possible jail time, license suspensions, and interlock devices that prevent use of phones while driving. However, more severe punishment will not eliminate police authority to conduct warrantless cell phone searches. This Article therefore proposes that legislatures allow drivers to immediately confess to texting while driving in exchange for avoiding a search of their phones. Trading a confession for a search will encourage guilty pleas while reducing invasive, warrantless cell phone searches that are currently authorized under the Fourth Amendment.

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I agree with this post. I think that there should be stricter punishments for those who text and drive. On the other hand, if the law goes too far then people may be receive far too intense of a punishment, which can be likened to a man simply trying to flirt with a woman and then get called out for sexual assault in the end. Law makers need to be tactful about this.

Posted by: Steve Lockwood | Feb 12, 2013 9:36:31 AM

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