Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2209259
 


 



Texting While Driving Meets the Fourth Amendment: Deterring Both Texting and Warrantless Cell Phone Searches


Adam M. Gershowitz


William & Mary Law School

2012

Arizona Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2012
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-237

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: texting, warrantless, search incident to arrest, distracted driving, pretextual

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Date posted: February 1, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Gershowitz, Adam M., Texting While Driving Meets the Fourth Amendment: Deterring Both Texting and Warrantless Cell Phone Searches (2012). Arizona Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2012; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-237. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2209259

Contact Information

Adam M. Gershowitz (Contact Author)
William & Mary Law School ( email )
South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
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