Man busted for distracted driving claims he had a McDonald's hash brown in his hand, not a phone

Man busted for distracted driving claims he had a McDonald's hash brown in his hand, not a phone
A McDonald's hash brown might make for a tasty breakfast, but you're not going to be able to read your Twitter timeline on one. What brings this up is a report in The Hour (via BGR) about a man from Westport, Connecticut named Jason Stiber. On April 11th, Stiber was pulled over and given a $300 ticket for "distracted driving" by Westport Police Cpl. Wong Won. The officer said that he saw Stiber place a cellphone near his mouth.

Stiber tried to tell the cop that what he thought was a smartphone was really a hash brown from McDonald's. The driver said that he had no reason to put a phone to his mouth or ear because he uses Bluetooth while driving. In addition, he allowed the officer to look at his phone, which showed that he had not made a call or received one during the time he was allegedly driving while distracted.


When Stiber went before a magistrate judge in August, he was found guilty despite presenting the same evidence he showed the cop. So Stiber requested a retrial, now scheduled for December 7th at state Superior Court in Norwalk. He has hired an attorney at a price of $1,000, which is how much his car insurance premium has risen because of the ticket.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you drive through McDonald's for a hash brown, make sure to order a second one to offer the cop just in case you get pulled over.

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15 Comments

1. Subie

Posts: 2363; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Whether he wins the re-trial will depend on how the courts view the distracted driving laws in Connecticut. There are jurisdictions in North America where eating while driving can land you a distracted driving ticket...

2. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

The cop claimed he was using his phone. You can eat while driving. Ge proved he made no calls which he can show with his bill. The ticket is bogus if he is telling the truth. He needs to file a bigger lawsuit

5. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 692; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

He didn't prove anything. It takes a second to delete an item from your recent call list. A detailed phone bill would be the only adequate proof that he wasn't on the phone at the time.

8. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Plus detailed data usage when that happen, it's also possible that he make call using apps, which use data. It's even better if he can show McD bill, for that hash brown.

9. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 692; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Good point.

10. blac.inc

Posts: 59; Member since: May 16, 2018

You can delete your calls from your phone, but it will still be shown on your bill. So, he can indeed show proof unlike your claim.

11. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 692; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

What are you talking about? That's exactly what I said. I didn't say he couldn't prove it. I said he didn't prove it by showing the officer & judge his phone. Maybe you should read more thoroughly before you comment.

13. blac.inc

Posts: 59; Member since: May 16, 2018

OMG, please forgive me. For some reason, I've read something different. I usually try to make sure I read thoroughly before commenting to prevent things like this from happening.

14. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 692; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Don't worry about it.

15. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Doesn't change what can be shown in a bill. Stop it dude, you gonna hurt yourself.

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's a good thing distracted driving in itself is a serious traffic offence worthy of a ticket in my country. In Connecticut, however, there are no general distracted driving laws, only ones concerning the use of a handheld device.

4. WakaFlakaD

Posts: 576; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

Newsworthy

6. Vogue1985

Posts: 459; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Right. The new Palm phone with a HASHBRIEN shaped phonecase

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I got one for a $150, back in 2012. Lesson learned.

12. p51d007

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Hope his attorney request damages to cover the trial, missed work, etc if they find for the defendant. Like others said, he has proof he didn't make or receive a call, but, pretty much anything that causes you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel "could" be considered C&I or distracted driving. Most of these you are using your phone while driving things are like the red light or speed camera. And easy way to boost revenue in some towns & cities.

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