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Hands-Free Law Takes Effect!

Posted: 07/31/2019

Category: County Sheriff Press Release, Departments

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Today is the day! Don’t even think about picking up your cellphone while driving unless it’s to call 911. Minnesota’s Hands-Free law took effect today, August 1. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office will be enforcing this law but most importantly law enforcement wants to make sure you understand what is and is not allowed.

You can still communicate in your car and comply with the law by making calls, listening to music or podcasts, and getting directions using voice commands or single-touch activation. You may use your GPS for navigation but please set your destination before you begin your trip.

Teens under 18 are not allowed to make or answer calls while driving even if it’s hands free. They may call 911 in an emergency. They may also listen to music or podcasts in hands free or voice-activated mode.

There are a number of inexpensive ways you can comply with the Hands-Free law and still use your phone while driving (and yes, that includes stopping and idling). You can buy a holder to clip your phone to the dash. Use it in voice-activated or single-touch mode. Buy an auxiliary cable and connect your phone’s earphone jack to your car’s AUX jack. You can operate your phone by voice or single touch and listen through your car’s audio system. Buy a Bluetooth speaker or earphone to pair with your phone. Pair your phone to your current car or truck. If your existing vehicle and phone can talk to each other, pair up and go hands-free.

Deciding not to go hands-free will cost you. The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees.

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