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Is It Illegal To Eat And Drive In GA?

By Butler Prather LLP on August 12, 2020

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and can lead to severe injuries for drivers and passengers. When most people think of distracted driving in Georgia, they think of people texting or talking on their cell phones. However, there are many other ways that distracted driving behaviors occur, including eating and drinking while driving a vehicle. The state of Georgia has taken a very proactive approach to decreasing the number of roadway accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving. Here, we want to look at whether or not eating in drinking is illegal while driving a vehicle in Georgia.

eat and drive

What does Georgia law say about distracted driving?

When we turn to specific language in the law, we can see that Georgia Code Section 40-6-241 states, “… shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver…”

This is very broad language that can be used to justify citing someone with distracted driving for just about any offense. This includes eating and drinking while driving behind the wheel of a vehicle in Georgia. In fact, police have charged people for distracted driving because they were eating behind the wheel. However, while you may not think that taking a sip of coffee or taking a bite of a cheeseburger is as risky as sending a text message, the fact remains that any behavior that takes your eyes off the roadway can lead to a significant accident.

Georgia recognizes three main types of distracted driving:

  • Visual distractions when a person looks away from the road.
  • Manual distractions for a person takes their hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions when a person’s attention is distracted by something else.

When we look at these definitions, we can see that every one of them is present when a person is eating or drinking while driving.

The fines for distracted driving in Georgia are $50 plus one point against a driver’s license for a first offense. A second offense will result in a $100 fine and two points against a driver’s license. For third and subsequent offenses, the fine is $150 and three points against a driver’s license.

Eating and driving can lead to severe accidents

Any type of distracted driving presents significant dangers on the roadway. There is a reason why distraction driving laws around the country are becoming more stringent. States and municipalities understand the distracted driving crashes often result in severe injuries, including the following:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
  • Lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Crush injuries
  • and more

If you or somebody you care about has been injured by a driver who was distracted by eating or drinking while driving their vehicle, determining liability could prove to be complicated. You may need to work with a skilled Atlanta car accident attorney who has the resources necessary to obtain all the evidence required to prove liability. This could include gathering photo or video surveillance, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and more.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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