Is it illegal to eat and drink while driving?

Drivers can easily find themselves hungry or thirsty while on the road.

But is it allowed to eat and drink while driving?

While it's not against the law to eat or drink while driving, you can be fined for careless driving if you lose focus.


While it’s not against the law to eat or drink while driving, you can be fined for careless driving if you lose focus.Credit: Getty

Is it illegal to eat while driving?

No – eating while driving is not illegal and there are no specific laws against it.

However, if you are distracted while eating quickly behind the wheel and therefore lose control of your vehicle, the police can prosecute you for a crime. careless driving.

It’s an offense currently punishable by a £100 fine and three penalty points.

And in more serious cases, or those that are contested in court, charges can be fined up to £5,000, up to nine penalty points, and even imposed by a court. driving is prohibited.

According to rule 148 of the Highway Code, it states that “Safe driving and riding requires concentration. Avoid driving or riding distractions such as eating.”

Police have warned that even a brief distraction can have serious consequences for all road users.

A 2012 study by the University of Leeds also found that the reaction times of drivers who were eating were 44% slower than usual.

Is it illegal to drink while driving?

Just like eating behind the wheel, drinking soft drinks while driving is not against the law, but it can result in similar careless driving penalties if you lose focus.

If you lose control of your vehicle and drinking is considered a contributing factor, you could be prosecuted and risk a £100 fine as well as three penalty points.

However, in some situations it is also dangerous not to have any drinks in the car as it can lead to dehydration.

Scientists at Loughborough University found that driving while dehydration can also be as dangerous as drinking and driving as it can be distracting and lead to drowsiness and slower reaction times.

On the other hand, drunk driving is an offense that carries a hefty fine.

We also explained What is the fine for drunk driving? in the UK and the guide is about limit drinking.

Ten things you should know as a car owner Is it illegal to eat and drink while driving?

Fry Electronics Team

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