UPDATE: First Offense For Using A Cell Phone While Driving Will Cost $85
UPDATE: Maine’s Judicial Branch on Friday altered the recently-announced waiver fine for the first offense of using a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle, according to a news release.
For the next six months, the fine amount will be $50. With surcharges required by law, the total waiver amount will be $85.
The change came in response to a judge on Wednesday setting the total amount of the fine at $230 -- $170.83 and surcharges. The judge was required to set the amount because the legislature did not set an explicit $50 fine for the first offense, according to the news release.
With Friday's action by the judicial branch, the fine for a first offense was set at $50, which is what the bill's sponsor had envisioned and what was widely reported. Friday's decision allows the legislature to revisit and set the fine at its next session.
Diamond says that he'll take it back to the legislature in the future if need be to get the price of the penalty to where he and others had envisioned that it would be.