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Is It Legal To Eat Whilst Driving?
22 May 2017

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A DRIVING law some British motorists may be unaware of is whether or not you can eat or drink whilst behind the wheel and if not, what kind of fine that could accrue. Whereas there is no law that forbids it, you could still receive a fine, here's why.

As it stands, eating and drinking while driving is not illegal, but should the food or beverage causes a distraction to the driver, then it can be categorised as "careless driving". 

Careless driving currently carries a fee of £100 and and three penalty points for people whose driving is affected. 

A spokesperson for the NPCC said this about the little-known legal quirk – that could leave drivers with a hefty fine, despite the offence not technically being classified as illegal. 

“There is no specific law against eating and drinking at the wheel, but officers may still prosecute drivers if their behaviour impacts their ability to control the vehicle. 

“Using their discretion officers can issue penalties for careless driving if they feel that eating or drinking has been a contributing factor.

Last January, a woman was fined £145 for eating and peeling a banana behind the wheel. She was also stung with three penalty points on her licence. 

Elsa Harris was charged with found guilty of driving without due care and attention.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain at the time, the 45-year-old admitted that the fine and licence points had not stopped her eating behind the wheel. Would a fine stop you?

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