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Category: Driving Laws

Keep Your Eyes on the Road: 2017 Brings New Cellphone Restrictions for California Drivers

Keep Your Eyes on the Road: 2017 Brings New Cellphone Restrictions for California Drivers

Existing California law restricts motorists from talking on a cellphone or texting while driving, except when using a device in voice-operated, hands-free mode. The current text messaging restriction applies to writing, sending, and reading texts on a cellphone or other wireless device while driving. The law doesn’t, however, address other uses of cellphones and wireless devices. So common smartphone and tablet features like internet browsers and GPS—which don’t involve text messaging—aren’t covered. (Cal. Veh. Code §§ 23123, 23123.5, 23124 (2016).) Realizing…

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New York Enacts New Boating-While-Intoxicated Legislation

New York Enacts New Boating-While-Intoxicated Legislation

By John McCurley On August 16, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Tiffany Heitkamp’s Law. The new legislation—which takes effect November 1, 2016—increases the boating-while-intoxicated (BWI) penalties for most offenders with prior drunk-driving convictions. In New York, anyone with a prior offense who’s convicted of either BWI or DWI is subject to greater penalties. But whether the prior offense was a BWI or a DWI can make a big difference. Under current New York law, a BWI conviction is punished…

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California Passes Law Legitimizing Motorcycle Lane Splitting

California Passes Law Legitimizing Motorcycle Lane Splitting

By John McCurley   Most California drivers have had the experience of sitting in freeway traffic when a motorcycle flies past, squeezing between grid-locked cars—a practice called “lane splitting.” Opinions differ on whether lane splitting should be allowed. Some motorists—mostly those who drive cars—believe that lane splitting is too dangerous and should be banned. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, generally think that lane splitting can be done safely and ought to be legal. But what’s the law in California? Until…

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Kansas Supreme Court: Law Making It a Crime to Refuse DUI Chemical Testing Is Unconstitutional

Kansas Supreme Court: Law Making It a Crime to Refuse DUI Chemical Testing Is Unconstitutional

By John McCurley Like all other states, Kansas has an “implied consent” law for drivers suspected of DUI (driving under the influence). These laws generally require that drivers arrested for driving under the influence submit to chemical testing for the purpose of determining whether and how much alcohol or drugs are in their bodies. (These tests typically involve the analysis of blood, breath, or urine.) In most states, the consequences of refusing a chemical test are administrative—the driver’s license will…

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California Updates Forms for Challenging Traffic Tickets by Video

California Updates Forms for Challenging Traffic Tickets by Video

On September 1, 2015, the California Judicial Council updated forms for people who’ve received traffic tickets and want to show their faces in court without schlepping to the courthouse. As the relevant instruction sheet tells, “remote video proceedings” (RVP) are available in (1) those courts that choose to allow them and (2) “cases involving Vehicle Code infractions or local ordinances adopted under the Vehicle Code.” (Defendants are ineligible if their alleged traffic offenses involve drugs or alcohol or their cases are…

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