Do Not Pokémon Go and Drive
The latest fad of today is Pokémon Go. The smartphone app was anticipated for years, and, within 24 hours of its launch, millions of Americans were out of their houses and into the streets trying to “catch ‘em all.” The game is simply a phenomenon, and all players are discovering new ingenious ideas on how to capture more pocket monsters. Some have even been playing the game while behind the wheel, resulting in distracted driving.
“Stay Aware of Your Surroundings”
As the game loads on your device, there is a charming picture of a Pokémon jumping at an unsuspecting trainer, reminding you, “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.” Recent updates to the game even remind users not to play while driving.
The creators intentionally put these warnings in as a way to remind players to use the game carefully. There are a growing number of daily incidents of players injuring themselves or those around them, as well as some players even risking death as a result of poor decisions. Therefore, it stands to reason that with the growing popularity of the game, the applicable laws must again be explored.
Distracted Driving Is Illegal
Pokémon Go has the potential to be an excellent tool to initiate face-to-face socialization as well as increasing the mobility of generations. These benefits would be overshadowed if the creators had designed the app to be used in a vehicle. Not only is driving while playing going to ruin the intended benefits, but it also breaks the law. Every time someone removes their eyes off the road, even for just a few seconds, it puts their life in danger as well as the lives of those around them. In addition to Pokémon Go, other distracting cell phone applications include:
- Text messaging;
- Voice dialing;
- GPS; and
- Other social media.
Only under extreme circumstances is it okay to use a phone while operating a vehicle, such as reporting an emergency situation. Illinois law prohibits the use of cell phones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology are allowed only for adults ages 19 and older. To be found guilty of distracted driving can result in severe criminal penalties and even jail time, where you will certainly not be able to catch your Pokémon.
While Pokémon Go is intended to be fun, distracted driving is no laughing matter. The state enforces strict punishments for those who knowingly endanger the lives of those around them without any regard for the value of human life. If you have been accused of distracted driving, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible, as doing so can make the difference in your future. If you are interested in discussing your situation with a proven and experienced DuPage County, IL criminal defense attorney, contact the Davi Law Group, LLC today at (630) 580-6373. From our offices in Wheaton, Warrenville, Joliet, and Chicago, we proudly serve clients throughout DuPage, Kane, Will, Cook and Kendall Counties.