Whereas we do not practice law in Washington state, we found the title
of the new distracted driving law there very interesting. The new
Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (DUI-E) in WA has stirred up a lot of controversy and commentary. “On
the road, off the phone” are the new buzzwords in WA.
This blog spot will be mainly an informational or opinion piece, though
if you do have an out-of-state traffic ticket you would like us to help
you with, please give us a call, 661-349-9300, or send us an email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we can’t make you any blanket promises, we will be happy
to look into it for you.
DUI-E & AB 1785, Similarities and Distinctive Differences
One of the obvious similarities is that it is illegal in both states to
use a hand-held device, even when stuck in traffic. If you pick up your
phone for any reason, you may be ticketed. Many would argue this “treats
drivers like children” and to a certain degree that is true, but
it is difficult not to draw a line in the sand when some drivers will
text or check email while driving the speed limit.
USA Today appears to have exacerbated the problem by announcing on a video that
drivers would need to put down their coffee while driving to work, which
isn’t exactly true. Whoa, you know how defensive people can get
about their coffee.
The controversial portion of the DUI-E law appears to be the “secondary”
offense, which if you are stopped for a “primary” offense,
such as speeding or an improper lane change can get you another ticket
of $99 for distracted driving for such things as putting on makeup, eating,
and/or drinking. The law is
not specific as to what constitutes “non-electronic” distracted
driving but leaves it to the discretion of the law enforcement officer (LEO).
Which is like the problem many California truckers have with AB 1785, while
it makes it unlawful to use handheld communication devices, it does not
specifically address the CB radio, which truckers have used for decades
but could be ticketed for under AB 1785. When questioned about it, CHP
officials said the law did not target truckers for CB radio use, but it
was up to the discretion of the LEO. It is our opinion that laws should
be clear and concise, with no room for interpretation by LEOs.
Drivers in WA will be fined $136 for a first offense or using a handheld
device while driving and $234 for the second offense within five years,
while Californians are fined $162 ($20 “base” fine) and $285
($50 “base” fine) respectively. Unlike the WA DUI-E law, Californians
below the age of 18, under AB 1785, may not use any communications devices
while driving, even GPS or built-in hands-free devices.
Another similarity is that in both states it is legal to call 9-1-1 for
emergency services. Call Bigger & Harman if you have any questions
about California’s AB 1785 or any traffic ticket inquiries, but
please, not while you’re driving.
Bigger & Harman, APC
Mark Bigger and Paul Harman are traffic ticket defenders who represent
their clients in traffic courts in Central Valley California county courts
in Kern, Kings, Tulare, Mono, Inyo, and Fresno, along with some county
courts in LA, SLO, Riverside, and San Bernardino in Southern California.
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or email:
email@example.com. When you have a mandatory appearance in court, Bigger & Harman can
represent you, so you can go to work as usual knowing a professional traffic
ticket defender is handling your traffic court appearance.
Not every ticket requires a court appearance; in fact, sometimes you should
just pay the fine and accept traffic school. That’s why Bigger &
Harman has a FREE phone consultation. You tell them the circumstances
surrounding your ticket and they will give you the advice you need to
make an informed decision.
For a completely confidential and convenient appointment, you can use the website
Read the write-up on
Nolo.com or check their reviews on
Yelp to discover what your friends and neighbors are saying about this Central
Valley traffic ticket defense team.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.