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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    Today, I was ticketed for a violation of CVC 23123 (A) Handheld Wireless Telephone Prohibited Use

    The circumstances:

    I was speaking on the phone utilizing a blue tooth. I answered a call by pushing one button on the phone and spoke on the phone using the blue tooth, while the phone was still in my hand. The officer pulled me over while I was still using my blue tooth device. I promptly hung up the phone and pulled over to the side of the road. I removed the blue tooth device after he approached the vehicle. I did not text or receive texts at any time during this period. The phone was only used to make or receive calls.

    CVC 23123(a) states that - A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

    Also, the CA DMV website states:
    Are there exceptions for dialing?
    A: This law does not prohibit reading, selecting or entering a phone number, or name in an electronic wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call. Drivers are strongly urged not to enter a phone number while driving

    I intend to appear in court and argue my case. My questions are: Am I in violation of the law? What is the best manner to defend myself? Any other advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    ,and spoke on the phone using the blue tooth, while the phone was still in my hand.


    CVC 23123(a) states that - A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

    do you see a problem here?

    You were not dialing, reading, selecting, or entering a phone number or name.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting Yurizot
    View Post
    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    Today, I was ticketed for a violation of CVC 23123 (A) Handheld Wireless Telephone Prohibited Use

    The circumstances:

    I was speaking on the phone utilizing a blue tooth. I answered a call by pushing one button on the phone and spoke on the phone using the blue tooth, while the phone was still in my hand. The officer pulled me over while I was still using my blue tooth device. I promptly hung up the phone and pulled over to the side of the road. I removed the blue tooth device after he approached the vehicle. I did not text or receive texts at any time during this period. The phone was only used to make or receive calls.

    CVC 23123(a) states that - A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

    Also, the CA DMV website states:
    Are there exceptions for dialing?
    A: This law does not prohibit reading, selecting or entering a phone number, or name in an electronic wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call. Drivers are strongly urged not to enter a phone number while driving

    I intend to appear in court and argue my case. My questions are: Am I in violation of the law?
    Are you in violation of the law?

    You certainly are.

    Does the DMV description offer an accurate representation of the law?

    It certainly does not. The exclusion that is mentioned in the DMV FAQ applies to a violation of 23123.5.

    It clearly is not part of 23123 (the code section that you were cited for), it is only part of the language included in 23123.5 (the code section that prohibits texting while driving) and it clearly specifies that it only applies to that code section, meaning 23123.5.

    Here is 23123:

    23123.

    (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

    (b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.

    (d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

    (e) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125.

    (f) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property.

    (g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2011.


    And here is 23123.5:


    23123.5.

    (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.

    (b) As used in this section "write, send, or read a text-based communication" means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

    (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call.

    (d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

    There are two elements to a 23123 violation. Meaning, one of two facts must be established to prove your guilt:

    1) (a) using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is NOT specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking;
    (A) You did meet that requirement;

    AND

    2) (b) that it be used in that manner (HANDS FREE) while driving.
    (B) you did not meet that requirement.

    Guilty as charged!

    You're not disputing the fact that you had the phone in your hand. You may have admitted that to the officer too. Although even if you didn't, one can only assume that he pulled you over for having the phone in your hand.

    Additionally, your argument that "The phone was only used to make or receive calls", neither one of those is a permissible activity, only hands free listening and talking are allowed. If you have to touch the phone for any reason, you need to stop driving before you do so.

    There are no violation points added as a result of a conviction (and hence no traffic school option), so some may say you've got nothing to lose by contesting it. They'll urge you to fight it based on a 5% chance the officer will not appear. I say you haven't much to gain! Especially based on the fact that there is a 95% chance he will appear.

    You're free to decide which odds are in your favor!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    3

    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Thank you for the replies. Does the law make it illegal to have a phone in your hand in any situation, or only while listening or talking on it? For instance, if I had it in my hand, but had not received or made any calls or texts.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting Yurizot
    View Post
    Thank you for the replies. Does the law make it illegal to have a phone in your hand in any situation, or only while listening or talking on it? For instance, if I had it in my hand, but had not received or made any calls or texts.
    technically, at least per the statute in this discussion:

    CVC 23123(a) states that - A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.
    it would not be illegal but arguing you were not using the phone is difficult at best.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting jk
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    technically, at least per the statute in this discussion:


    it would not be illegal but arguing you were not using the phone is difficult at best.
    I agree. I think you're asking for trouble if you are caught with it in your hand, regardless of which feature or application you are or plan on using.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Thank you for the assistance, it appears I was guilty and I misunderstood the law. Is the ticket really only $20 or are there additional fees? Will there be a different price if I just pay it instead of going to court?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting Yurizot
    View Post
    Thank you for the assistance, it appears I was guilty and I misunderstood the law. Is the ticket really only $20 or are there additional fees? Will there be a different price if I just pay it instead of going to court?
    $20 is the base fine. It does get a good chunk added to it in the way of statutory penalties and assessments and at the end of the day, you're looking at approximately $160.00. I can make no guarantees but you might see a slight reduction by appearing at the arraignment and pleading "guilty". How much if any will vary depending on the court.

    This would make a $50 base fine for a second offense a whooping $280, so you need to be careful from now on.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting Yurizot
    View Post
    Thank you for the assistance, it appears I was guilty and I misunderstood the law. Is the ticket really only $20 or are there additional fees? Will there be a different price if I just pay it instead of going to court?

    Oh you must be young. There are always additional fees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Cell Phone Use with Blue Tooth

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Oh you must be young. There are always additional fees.
    In California ... what a ripoff state ... but all you CA already know that ..

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