Questions In Need of Answers

Today, I woke up with some burning questions that need answers. Rather than Google, I thought: Why not put them to the neatoramanaut community, who've got to be smarter than Google's algorithms, right?

So here goes:

1. The other week, I saw a small plane crash into the 405 Freeway near Long Beach. When I went to take a photo of it, a CHiPs on foot pulled me over and gave me a ticket for using my phone while driving. I said, "Well, I'm using the camera, so it's not a phone at this point. Is there a law against pulling out my DSLR and taking a picture while traffic is basically stopped?" He said no, but there is a law about operating a motor vehicle without a hands-free device. QUESTION: If I dispute this ticket, will I win? Or is just my word against his?

2. When you cut a 12-hour Sudafed in half, do you only get 6 hours of sinus relief, or do you still get the full 12 hours, but only at half the strength? Anyone? Anyone?

3. Anyone own a BMW 3-series wagon? Thinking of buying a used one for my wife. Like a 2006 or 2007. Any advice? Good/bad? Pitfalls? Thanks all!

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About the phone: The law is not totally settled, but here's what I can tell you definitively.

Simply reading the statute doesn't answer the question. Oversimplifying slightly, it prohibits driving "while using a wireless telephone." (Veh. Code, ยง 23123.) Does that mean while using the telephone *as* a telephone?

People v. Spriggs (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1 held that using a phone as a GPS unit while driving violates the statute. It explained: "The statute . . . focuses on the distraction a driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone, specifically including 'the physical distraction a motorist encounters when either picking up the phone, punching the number keypad, holding the phone up to his or her ear to converse, or pushing a button to end a call.' That distraction would be present whether the phone is used for carrying on a conversation or for some other purpose."

Spriggs is a decision of a very low-level court (Fresno Superior Court). Other state courts could disagree. But they probably won't. While Spriggs is not binding, it *is*persuasive. In other words, a judge probably won't want to waste the time or energy to redecide the issue.

My non-lawlerly advice: Assert the First Amendment. Argue that the statute is unconstitutional to the extent that it prevents you from making a record of a newsworthy event.
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Yeah the Cali legal definition of "driving" didn't specify what physical control meant, they probably consider keys in ignition as control. As for the DUI thing the police don't need to see someone commit a crime to accuse them of it, your acquaintance was parked on the side of the road in his car with the keys, no one else could've drove the car there and if he was still drunk when they found him then they can prove he was drunk when he parked it there, if the keys had been in his pocket they still would've charged him
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It's still a phone, the end.

Your pharmacist will advise not to.

Go over to the forums at I own an e46 and got/get great info over there. They're is lots of info they can share about what to look for etc even before you buy. HIghly recommended (I registered here just so I could answer this).
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It is my understanding that on the state of Washington, what matters is if you key is in the ignition. You can be parked, engine off and cold, but still be considered legally in control of the vehicle if the keys are in the ignition. An accquaintance of mine once learned this the hard way when he realized he had had to much and did the right thing and pulled over to sleep it off, then got rousted while sleeping and ended up with a DUI. Even the judge admitted it was unfair, but said that was the law....
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