Haverhill teen's jail sentence sends warning to Mass. drivers

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June 7, 2012, 6:30 pm
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(NECN: Melissa Toupin) - For Levi Brown, texting while driving sends a new message.

“If they think 'I'm going to get arrested and possibly go to jail'...now it should strike some fear into kids hearts where they can’t text and drive.”

Wednesday, a Massachusetts teenager became the first person in the state to be convicted of causing a fatal car accident while texting.

Aaron Deveau of Haverhill will serve one year in jail and loose his license for 15 years.

Dudley Police Chief Steven Wojnar says the landmark ruling should serve as a warning to drivers of all ages.

“This type of situation has been going for quite some time, really does cause people to take a look at a it and understand the seriousness and significance.”

Worcester attorney Ted Bassett says the judge has made it clear that there is no place for cell phones while driving and has set a new precedent for how these situations will be handled.

Bassett says more district attorneys will be checking cell phone records if there is any suspicion they played a role in a crash.

“Aren’t things you can hide. It's a permanent record of every time you text.”

While many young drivers admit this case has been an eye opener, some still say putting down the cell phone while driving isn’t an easy habit to kick.

Nineteen-year-old Sean Giguere says he's guilty of texting while behind the wheel.

It's an action Giguere says he's not proud of.

The Southbridge teen says the outcome of this very public case will make him think twice about texting while driving and hopes it will be a deterrent for others as well.

“Oh yeah, kids definitely need to change their attitude about it. Just too lackadaisical about it. Don't think anything is going to happen but sometimes it does.”

Tags: Levi Brown, texting, Melissa Toupin, warning, Ted Bassett, Aaron Deveau, driving while texting, Haverhill massachusetts, steven wojnar
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