April 27, 2017 was the crossover date at the North Carolina General Assembly. This year the Legal and Legislative committee was informed of SB-364 and HB-831 entitled “Brian Garlock Act” that could have had a negative effect on private investigators. This bill used the following definition in it’s language.
“Electronic communication device. – Any electronic device other than a mobile telephone that is capable of providing data communication between two or more persons , including a personal digital assistant, an electronic device with mobile data access, a laptop computer,a pager, a smartwatch, a broadband personal communication device, a two way messaging device, an electronic game, and a portable computing device. This term does not include equipment installed and used in a motor vehicle for the purposes of (i) providing emergency assistance, information, or other services to the person operating the motor vehicle or (ii) providing video entertainment to the passengers in the rear seats of a motor vehicle.”
This Bill would have made using or holding a mobile telephone or other electronic communication devices illegal for a driver of a motor vehicle with it’s language. The Electronic Communication Device definition above expanded it to most all electronic devices unless they are able to use used with a single push button hands free device including the use of two way radios.
Both the House and Senate versions of this bill remained in committee and failed to reach the floor for a vote, so both of these bills effectively died in committee for this legislative session. We would like to say “Thank You’ to each and every NCAPI member who took time out of their busy schedule to email, call, or visit their representatives in person at the state legislature. The Legal and Legislative committee will continue to monitor this bill for any surprises, and keep a watchful eye out for any other bills that may come along in the future that could have a negative impact on professional investigators in North Carolina.
Gregory A. Hatten, NCAPI President
Leroy Everhart, Legal and Legislative Chairman
Bill Dover, Committee Member
Suzanne Creech, Committee Member
Paula Hayes, Committee Member
Thomas McNamara, Committee Member
Don Miller, Committee Member
Tim McIntyre, Committee Member