Recently in Traffic Crimes Category
Applegate Law Office
As we all know (myself from expensive personal experience), it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving a car. And as all of us — well, all of us except the California Supreme Court — also know, a modern ‘smart’ phone is a lot more than a telephone.
A smart phone can make calls, hands-free or otherwise. More importantly, a smart phone can play music through a car stereo and provide turn-by-turn directions for the driver. What it can’t do is play music through a car stereo or provide turn-by-turn directions for the driver (or anything else) if the driver touches the phone.
According to the Appellate Division charged with reining in Fresno County, if you use your hand to use your cellphone for directions or music or anything at all while you’re driving, you’re breaking the law. Per the court, “[o]ur review of the statute’s plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone. That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails.”
Applegate Law Office
- A Rohnert Park woman on the Cotati Grade is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.
- An officer stops a Hidden Valley Lake man clocked at 15 mph over the speed limit.
This February, these drivers were nabbed by the CHP and one of them was charged with DUI, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. That’s not so unusual. What caught my eye was that both were driving with a suspended license — a small detail that makes a big legal difference.
Your license can be suspended due to charges for DUI, hit and run, reckless driving causing bodily injury, evading a police officer, participating in car crash insurance fraud, soliciting prostitution or any one of a host of other reasons.
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