I know a person who has installed a dvd player in his car. The monitor can be seen from the driver’s side. This is not the same as a monitor in the back seat area of a minivan which can only be seen by backseat passengers.
I believe states should adopt penalties against this practice which parallel DUI laws. There is NEVER a need to watch a television while driving. This practice is, in my opinion, far more dangerous than someone driving with a .08 blood alcohol concentration.
If the police stop the driver and they notice such a device they should:
Arrest the driver and impound the vehicle. The driver should be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense. As a condition of release from jail on bond, the driver should be required to remove the device and submit this evidence to the court with 10 days of release from jail. The driver should suffer an administrative license suspension equivalent to a DUI, probably 6 months for a first offense.
Upon conviction, a court ordered license suspension should be imposed. The fine should be 500 dollars minimum. There should be a possibility of jail time from 24 hours to 6 months. 50 hours of community service. The driver should also be required to maintain proof of an SR-22 with the DMV for 3 years. If the state requires additional DUI penalties, those should be enforced on a driver while watching television.
Do the rest of my fellow dopers think these penalites are too harsh? Would you support even stricter penalties? These are equivalent to first offender DUI laws.