How Much Does Your State Fine For Texting and Driving?

The good news: fatal car crashes are on the decline. The bad news: fatal car crashes involving cell phone use—anything from texting to talking to reaching for a ringing phone—are on the rise. In fact, the leading cause of death for teenage drivers is now texting, not drinking, with nearly a dozen teens dying each day in a texting-related car crash. Stark figures like this have driven 46 states to pass legislation banning texting and driving. But texting fines vary wildly across the country, and you’ll end up paying a little or a lot depending on where you got caught.

In California, the maximum penalty for a first-time offender is just $20, the lowest in the country, while Alaska will slap you with a whopping $10,000 fine and a year in prison. Meanwhile, some states don’t allow cops to pull drivers over for texting, but can impose a texting fine on top of another penalty, like speeding. Confused yet? Keep your eyes on the road: we’ve rounded up maximum first-offense fines for fully licensed drivers in each state, along with a few more sobering stats on using your phone while behind the wheel. Remember: local laws may apply even if there’s no statewide ban where you’re driving, but to be safe—literally—just don’t text and drive.

State Maximum penalty▼
Alaska $10,000
Utah $750
Guam $500
Indiana $500
Maine $500
Oregon $500
New Jersey $400
Wisconsin $400
New York $243
North Carolina $230
Hawaii $200
Nebraska $200
Louisiana $175
Connecticut $150
Georgia $150
Ohio $150
Pennsylvania $140
Minnesota $135
Virginia $125
Washington $124
Arkansas $100
Massachusetts $100
Michigan $100
New Hampshire $100
North Dakota $100
Vermont $100
West Virginia $100
District of Columbia $100
Idaho $85
Rhode Island $85
Illinois $75
Maryland $75
Wyoming $75
Kansas $60
Tennessee $60
Colorado $50
Delaware $50
Nevada $50
Florida $30
Iowa $30
Alabama $25
Kentucky $25
California $20