Troopers charge woman with driving while texting

An Anchor Point woman stopped with a mobile phone in her lap was charged with driving a motor vehicle with screen device operating — the official charge for the offense of driving while texting or driving while looking at a computer screen. 

Ruth Rodriquez, 23, was arrested on the charge and taken to the Homer Jail.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Alaska State Trooper John Probst, troopers received a “report every dangerous driver immediately” complaint at 3:43 p.m. Jan. 27 of a driver in a red four-door sedan heading south on the Sterling Highway near Mile 163. Probst found the suspect car and followed it near Mile 165. 

In his complaint, he said he saw the car cross the centerline twice. Probst pulled the car over and identified Rodriquez as the driver. He said he saw a cell phone in her lap with the screen on and could see Facebook messages open. Probst said Rodriquez admitted driving while texting. She let him look at her mobile phone, and he said he saw a string of Facebook messages between 3:43 p.m. and 3:49 p.m.