Is it illegal to eat or drink while driving?

businesswomen eating and drinking while driving Keep left unless overtaking sign

Although there is no specific rule that prohibits eating or drinking (non-alcoholic) while driving, the practice can distract drivers and ultimately result in prosecution.

Driver distraction is broadly covered under NSW Road Rule 297(1) which is a general road rule that states “a driver must not drive a vehicle unless the driver has proper control of the vehicle”.

If eating while driving interferes with a driver’s control of the vehicle, the driver may be committing an offence depending on the circumstances.

These types of offences are assessed on a case by case basis, including whether an incident occurred and are subject to a $433 fine and three demerit points. In school zones, the penalty increases to $541 with 4 demerit points.

As well as the dangers of driving under the influence, NSW Road Rule 298 (1) states that a driver must not to consume alcohol while driving. This would apply regardless of whether the driver is under the limit.

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