A Canadian man was found guilty of using his cell phone while driving even though the battery on the device had died and the phone was in the center console when he was pulled over by the police. As the officers approached Patrick Henry Grzelak's car, they noticed he had earbuds in and cited him for violating Canada's Motor Vehicle Act.
Grezelak pleaded his case in court, but the judge was not swayed and ruled that because the earbuds were plugged into the phone, they were considered part of the device.
"But that is not the end of the matter. In my view, by plugging the earbud wire into the iPhone, the defendant had enlarged the device, such that it included not only the iPhone (proper) but also attached speaker or earbuds," Judge Brent Adair wrote. "Since the earbuds were part of the electronic device and since the earbuds were in the defendant's ears, it necessarily follows that the defendant was holding the device (or part of the device) in a position in which it could be used, i.e., his ears."
Adair also cited a previous case from 2015 in which a judge ruled that a phone does not have to be working for a driver to be found guilty of distracted driving, explaining that the law states "that simply holding the device in a position in which it may be used constitutes the offense, even if it is temporarily inoperative."
Grzelak was fined $276 and given four points on his driver's license.
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