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Texting and Driving, Tough laws, Tough Consequences

A young man who pleaded guilty to texting while driving and causing a fatal accident is now facing four years in prison.

A judge sentenced a 19-year old college student from Suffolk named Camren Lamar Artis on June 21, 2018 to 10 years -- six of which was suspended -- and five years of probation.

Artis was charged with involuntary manslaughter after being found to be the cause of a three-vehicle crash in April 2017 that killed 57-year-old Duke F. Doyle and injured the third driver.

The accident occurred when Artis’ vehicle rear-ended another vehicle, causing it to be hit head-on by a third vehicle. Artis pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge as well as texting while operating a vehicle. Artis' driver’s license was also suspended, and the judge ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service.

With the intent to hopefully prevent the devastation to lives impacted by texting and driving accidents, Virginia lawmakers have implemented tough legislation regarding texting and driving.

Commercial drivers are explicitly prohibited from using a cell phone to for voice calls or texting with the law stating; “no person driving a commercial motor vehicle shall text or use a handheld mobile telephone while driving such vehicle.” Commercial drivers found to be in violation this law can face fines up to $2,750.

While Virginia currently has no law for non-commercial drivers over age 18 to use a cell phone for telephone calls, Virginia does make it unlawful for a driver to enter letters or numbers letters in cellphone or read information on a cell phone screen. Drivers can be fined up to $250 and higher if multiple violations occur.

If you or one of your loved ones has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you deserve justice and compensation. Please contact Kalfus & Nachman today or call (855) 880-8163 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Newport News accident attorneys.

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