Is it illegal to eat or drink while driving?

man eating whilst driving a vehicle man eating whilst driving a vehicle

Most drivers are guilty of sneaking a few snacks behind the wheel but confusion around the legality of it means you could be risking more than a big fine.

While there are no specific road rules that prohibit eating behind the wheel, drivers can still be slapped with hefty fines if doing so affects their concentration or control.

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.

This could come with a $464 fine and three demerit points and that skyrockets to a $581 fine and four demerit points if the offence is committed in a school zone.

In extreme cases, drivers can also be charged with negligent driving if snacking distracts them and results in a crash.

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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