A ticket for using Google Glass? Fresno traffic defense attorney looks at an interesting case

Dec 05, 2013

People take different forms of technology along with them when they drive, most typically cellphones and other mobile devices.  While drivers should always take care to follow traffic laws and not let themselves get distracted on the road (as distraction could lead to fatal or otherwise serious collisions), they should be allowed to use these devices legally and responsibly.

As technology evolves, it will be interesting to see how California law will respond to the changes.  Already, there are bans on handheld cellphone use while driving; for people 18 or older, only hands-free devices are permitted.  Texting (which includes not only writing texts, but reading any you receive) while operating a vehicle is also forbidden.

Recently, a case that's made national news involves a California driver who was given a ticket for using Google Glass, a computer worn as a pair of eyeglasses.  This wearable technology, which produces a small, transparent computer display that hovers above the right eye, will be made more widely available in 2014.  The driver, who was pulled over for allegedly speeding, claims that the technology was off when she was driving, but that because it gets activated with a tilt of the head, it came to life when she looked up at the officer as he spoke to her after she had pulled over.

What kinds of issues does this case raise?

  • The ways in which the law will adapt to increasingly sophisticated technology, including wearable technology, on the road will be interesting to see.  Currently, a few other states, including New Jersey, are considering bills aimed at banning Google Glass while driving. 
  • The woman wearing Google Glass was issued the citation given to drivers who have some kind of video screen turned on in the front of their car.  Is this 'video screen citation' applicable to something like Google Glass, which is a different kind of technology?
  • In this case, the police officer witnessed her wearing the glasses. What proof will the court offer that the glasses were on when she was driving, and not only when the car was parked and she was speaking to the officer?

It will be interesting to see how this case develops.  In any case, if you're issued a ticket for the use of a mobile device of some kind, contact a reputable Fresno traffic defense attorney.  We can review the details of the citation with you and advocate for you in traffic court.  Even if you're witnessed with a device, you may not have been using it illegally, and should be able to defend yourself in court against that charge.


Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If you're looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.