A British Columbia judge has found a man who was wearing in-ear headphones while behind the wheel guilty of distracted driving, even though the buds were plugged into a dead iPhone.
On October 12th, 2018, Surrey resident Patrick Henry Grzelak was driving home when police officers spotted him using in-ear headphones, according to a court document.
When they pulled him over, the officers found that the connected iPhone was in a dashboard cubby hole and its battery had been depleted.
Despite the fact that the phone wasn’t powered on, Judicial Justice Brent Adair found that Grzelak was still legally “using” the phone.
“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,” Adair wrote in an April 8th, 2019 judgment.
“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.”
The RCMP added that the mere act of having two earbuds in at once will constitute distracted driving and can result in a $368 fine. However, one earbud is permitted.