Texting While Driving (Hands Free Offenses)

ORC 4511.204 SB288

Effective 4/4/2023 (6 Month Grace Period Expires 10/4/2023)

ORC Violation Degree Points Fine Cost
4511.204 * Texting - 1st Violation in 2 Years UM 2 $150.00 Max $100.00
4511.204 * Texting - 2nd Violation in 2 Years UM 3 $250.00 Max $100.00
4511.204 ** Texting - 3rd Violation in 2 Years UM 4 $500.00 Max $100.00
4511.204 Texting - Commercial Vehicle UM 2/3/4 Same as 1st, 2nd, 3rd penalties in addition to other applicable penalties $100.00
4511.204 Texting - Construction Zone UM 2/3/4 Double 1st, 2nd, 3rd penalties $100.00
4511.204 Handheld Mobile Telephone UM 2/3/4 Double 1st, 2nd, 3rd penalties $100.00


* 1st Violation in 2 Years
1st time offenders who are charged with a violation of Texting While Driving may take a distracted driving course, in lieu of paying the statutory fine of $100.00. The offender must submit a certificate of completion to the Court on or before the scheduled court date. The course is offered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and can be found on the Driver Training website at: https://www.drivertraining.ohio.gov.
The distracted driver course only waives the applicable fine and 2 points that would have been assessed to the offenders driving record. The course shall not be dismissed and must be reported to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles as a guilty conviction. Court cost of $100.00 still applies and must be paid.

Points: 2/3/4 refers to the number of points to be assessed = 2 pts - first offense, 3 pts - second offense & 4 pts - third offense.

All of the above are Unclassified Misdemeanors (UM), however only 2nd and 3rd violations must appear. All 1st offense violations are waiverable but will require the Defendant to call the Court for special instructions. All of the above are moving violations.

Note: ORC 4511.991 Distracted Driving is a contributing factor to a primary offense. MM, No points, BMV Code DH, Fine $100 may be dismissed with proof of course after 90 days, whereas ORC 4511.204 differs, as it is a primary offense.