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Tennessee handheld phone ban while driving among July 1 laws

Posted at 1:20 PM, Jun 28, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Drivers in Tennessee could face fines if they're caught using hand-held cellphones behind the wheel starting Monday, when that law and more than 140 others take effect.

A slew of new laws kick in July 1 annually. The new distracted driving law makes it illegal for people to drive while holding or supporting a cellphone or mobile device with their bodies. Hands-free devices are allowed. A violation will be a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $50 fine for a first offense; $100 for a third or higher offense or for causing a wreck; and $200 in active work or school zones.

Another law taking effect bans ministers ordained online from performing marriages. The online-ordaining Universal Life Church Monastery Storehouse has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the law.

Here's a look at the new Tennessee laws taking effect July 1