The new Maine law enforcing drivers to only use hands-free devices while operating a vehicle went into effect last week with higher fines than initially proposed by its founder, Sen. William Diamond, D-Cumberland.

Diamond initially proposed that the fine be $50 with additional court fees, totaling $85. However, the Chief Judge Susan Oram took the "no less than $50" wording to heart and set the initial fine at $170.83, which came out to $230 with surcharges.

Now, the Maine Judicial branch is rectifying this misunderstanding with a change to the fine that will bring it down to its intended total cost of $85 for the next six months, according to WGME, leaving it open to the state legislature to make permanent during their next session.

If the legislature doesn’t take any action, fines will return to the $230 total on April 6, 2020, the news station reported.

Be sure to order a phone holder or put your phone in the back seat to avoid temptation now that the hands-free law is in effect! You may not be paying as much as the Chief Judge originally set the fine, but you'll still be putting people in danger.

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