Gavel - Legal

Often, we have discussed the dangers of distracted driving. Texting and driving, talking on the phone while driving, and adjusting the radio dial while driving are all considered distractions; distracted driving causes deadly car crashes.

In Georgia, the distracted driving law, loosely translated, prohibits eating while driving. If Cobb County police catch you, you may pay a fine. That drive-thru trip may cost you more than a few extra pounds – just ask Madison Turner, an Alabama man who was pulled over while eating his quarter-pounder.

Turner says he pulled through McDonald’s drive-thru where he ordered a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. He was driving down a Marietta, Georgia street when saw the flashing lights on the police car pulling him over.

Madison says, “The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for two miles. He said specifically three times, you can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.”

Madison was written up under Georgia’s distracted driving law, and under the comments section of the ticket, the officer wrote, “eating while driving.”

The law reads, in part: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

The law is rather broad, and does not specifically talk about food, so can you be ticketed in Georgia for grabbing a bite for the road? We all do it; in fact many a parent would never eat on a road trip if they didn’t hit a drive-thru while on the family vacation.

Madison is going to court to fight the ticket; his court date is February 3rdWhat do you think? Is eating a burger really distracted driving, or should police be focusing more on texters and – well, any number of other things?

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