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Governor Cuomo recently directed the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to examine the technology behind a new device called a “ TEXTALYZER” The governor also directed the Committee to explore the potential privacy and civil liberties issues the implementation of this new device would raise.

So what is a textalyzer? A textalyzer is a handheld device that law enforcement can plug into a motorist’s cellphone. After being plugged into a phone for approximately one minute, the device allows police to see if a motorist had been texting, emailing or otherwise using his or her cellphone before being stopped. The device is called the “textalyzer” because of its similarity to the Breathalyzer, which is used to test if someone is driving while intoxicated or under the influence.

Tickets for Distracted Driving, Talking and Texting are serious matters under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. Besides expensive fines and surcharges, pleading guilty to a texting while driving ticket would result in 5 points being added to your license. Depending on your driving record this could result in yearly driver assessment fees or potentially the suspension of your driving privilege.

As the recent New York Court of Appeals decision Acevedo v. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 03690 (May 9, 2017) demonstrates, the Commissioner of the DMV has great discretion in whether to restore an individual’s driving privilege and in many instances can conduct a “lifetime review” of a licensee’s driving record.

When faced with the potential consequences of a cell phone ticket, the possibility of “textalyzers” becoming commonplace, and the broad power of the DMV it is imperative that if you or someone you care about is facing a texting while driving or similar ticket you consult with a lawyer experienced in vehicle and traffic law matters. Simply pleading guilty by mail and paying the ticket is often not the best option and can have serious repercussions.

The Long Island Criminal Defense Attorney’s at Schalk, Ciaccio, and Kahn, P.C., are all former prosecutors with years of experiences handling all types of offenses from texting while driving infractions to Driving While Intoxicated. Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day at 516-858-1266 to be there for you when you or a loved one needs to protect their rights.

Please monitor our website and all of our social media accounts for updates in the coming weeks as we follow-up on this new development regarding the “textalyzer,” and other topics in the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law.

NY Traffic Law Update in Long Island and Nassau County