Is it okay to eat or drink whilst behind the wheel?

It’s not illegal but you could still be fined for careless driving

 
Most drivers think nothing about grabbing a bite to eat and a drink when out on the road and tucking in whilst continuing on their journey but many motorists have no idea as to whether it’s acceptable behaviour or actually illegal to eat or drink whilst driving.
The fact is that it’s not illegal for a driver to eat or drink whilst behind the wheel, however you could be pulled over by the police and issued with a fine and penalty points.
But why you might ask if it’s not illegal to do so? It’s because in some cases it can be classed as a ‘distraction’ and comes under the category of driving without due care and attention.
If caught, you could be facing a fine of £100 and three points on your licence.

It's not illegal but you could still be fined for careless driving

Is it okay to eat or drink whilst behind the wheel?


 
According to the Highway Code, rule 148 states that: “Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as eating and drinking.”
So while it’s not against the law to eat and drink at the wheel, the police can still prosecute motorists if they think their ability to control their vehicle is in question.
If an officer believes that by eating or drinking whilst driving has played their part in why a driver has been pulled over, penalties can be issued for careless driving.
One of the biggest dangers on the road is distraction driving, as one small lapse in concentration could lead to a serious incident not only for the offender but all other road users also.
There are other offences that drivers tend to do whilst at the wheel which could also be classed as ‘careless’ and could mean being issued with a fine and penalty points such as trying to read a map, listening to music too loud, smoking, arguing with passengers and adjusting the radio – all of which most drivers do on a daily basis without even considering whether they could land them in hot water.
 
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