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Are You Breaking The Law When Eating Behind The Wheel?

Are You Breaking The Law When Eating Behind The Wheel?


When it comes to driver’s interpretation of the UK law and what they can and cannot do, there is still a sense of the unknown when it comes to what actually is illegal and what is not.

Can you sip your Starbucks while driving behind the wheel?

Can you puff a cigarette while driving?

Can you eat that tasty Greggs sausage roll while stuck in congestion?

These are the very mundane things drivers across the country continuously do, yet seemingly have no idea whether they are breaking the law or not.

Are you allowed to eat while driving?

It is not illegal to eat behind the wheel, however, if you get distracted while doing so and are not in proper control as a result, the police may prosecute you for careless driving. So basically, next time you are tucking into that Big Mac from the McDonald’s drive thru, just be a little bit considerate of other drivers around you when having a junk food binge.

Is it illegal to drink non-alcoholic drinks when driving?

Taking a drink while driving is not illegal, so drinking a can of Pepsi while driving for instance is perfectly ok, however, as with eating food, if you lose control and are proven to have been distracted by drinking, you may be prosecuted and could risk paying a fine of £100 as well as three penalty points

Closeup image of a woman holding and drinking coffee while driving a car

Is it illegal to smoke behind the wheel?

Just like eating and drinking, whether you can be prosecuted after smoking while driving depends on whether doing so made them distracted and they lost control. In other words, smoking has been proven to cause long-term internal damage, but caught smoking while losing control of your car, and that isn’t the only long-term damage that you could be causing.

So, while it is not illegal for a driver to eat, drink or smoke while driving, the police could still issue penalty points and a fine if they find that the driver was distracted while driving. Remember, being distracted while driving falls under the category of driving without due care and attention and carries a fine of £100 and three penalty points!

Our advice, wait until you pull up to rest stop or service station to indulge in a cheeky fag or munchies. Like with most cravings, it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

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