More than 5,300 tickets were written by Gwinnett County police officer for violations of Georgia’s hands-free law in its first year, county records show.
Georgia’s hands-free law, forbidding drivers from using their cellphones while they are driving or not otherwise in park, went into effect on July 1, 2018. Between then and June 30, 2019, the Gwinnett County Police Department wrote 5,333 citations for violating the new law. That averages to about 14 tickets each day.
Georgia State Patrol wrote 24,862 tickets for hands-free law violations statewide in the same time period, an average of 68 per day.
The penalty for first-time offenders is a $50 ticket. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $150.
Gwinnett County, like many other Georgia law enforcement agencies, gave drivers a grace period in the first few weeks following the law going into effect. During that period, officers focused on giving drivers warnings instead of tickets in most situations, the department said at the time.
The Gwinnett County numbers, provided by the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court, do not include tickets written by municipal police departments. Tickets written by the Gwinnett County Police Department are settled in the recorder’s court, while those written by municipal departments go to those cities’ municipal courts.
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