Court Says Former Distracted Driving Law Was Unclear

The Alaska Court of Appeals has found a former law was ambiguous with regard to whether it banned text messaging while driving.

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The decision comes in the case of Tyler Adams, who in 2011 was charged with texting while driving. Magistrate Jennifer Wells granted Adams’ request to have the case dismissed, citing unclear language in the law.

While some lawmakers said they intended to ban texting while driving with the 2008 law, the appeals court, in a memorandum opinion, found the legislative intent in that regard was ambiguous “at best.” The law referred to driving with a “screen device operating” but didn’t mention text messaging.

Legislators in 2012 amended the law to spell out circumstances in which someone would commit the crime of driving while texting.

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