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Over 6,000 drivers cited in first 6 months of distracted driving law

Tuesday marks six months since the state's electronics-DUI law was signed into law.

In the first six months of Washington state’s distracted driving law, state patrol officers have issued 6,475 distracted driving citations statewide, according to data released Tuesday by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

The law went into effect on July 23.

“When you drive distracted, you are putting both yourself and other drivers in danger,” Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said in a statement.

The grace period for the new law ended at the beginning of January, and law enforcement began ticketing drivers who were caught texting, talking on the phone, or holding hand-held electronic devices at the wheel.

A first offense costs a driver $136. Second offenses are $234.

Eating, drinking, and smoking are considered secondary offenses.