Eating While Driving: Is it Illegal for New Jersey Drivers?
We've all done this at least once.
If you've driven a car and have a mouth, chances are you've eaten while driving. Let's face it, we're busy, and sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do in order to save some time.
The act of eating while driving is seemingly innocent. If you've got a long commute that runs through mealtime, of course, you're going to want to stay fueled up. And don't fast-food chains have drive-thrus for a reason?
You may be thinking "I'm able to multitask and eat while driving, as long as I keep my eyes on the road," or "it's not like I'm texting and driving."
So, is it illegal to eat while driving in New Jersey?
According to The Office of the Attorney General, there is technically no law that specifically states the act of eating while driving in New Jersey is illegal. But (and this is a big but), it is listed as a type of distracted driving, which comes with penalties.
Per The Office of the Attorney General distracted driving is defined as:
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving
The website further goes on to list the penalties for distracted driving: a $200-$400 ticket for the first offense, a $400-$600 ticket for the second offense, and then a $600-$800 ticket, with 3 points on your license and a potential 90-day license suspension for the 3rd or subsequent offense.
Yikes. If this information is making you rethink eating while behind the wheel - you're not alone.
Moral of the story: even though there's no law that outright says you can't eat while driving, it is possible for you to get a distracted driving ticket for it. So be careful!