British motorists could land themselves a hefty fine by drinking a cup of coffee behind the wheel.
The offence also carries a three-point penalty, potentially pushing British motorists over the twelve-point limit and temporarily costing them their licence.
As it stands, eating and drinking while driving is not illegal, but should the food or beverage causes a distraction to the driver, then it can be categorised as “careless driving”.
Careless driving currently carries a fee of £100 and and three penalty points for people whose driving is affected.
A spokesperson for the NPCC told Express.co.uk about the little-known legal quirk – that could leave drivers with a hefty fine, despite the offence not technically being classified as illegal.
“There is no specific law against eating and drinking at the wheel, but officers may still prosecute drivers if their behaviour impacts their ability to control the vehicle.
“Using their discretion officers can issue penalties for careless driving if they feel that eating or drinking has been a contributing factor.
“Distraction driving is one of the most dangerous behaviours that police are focused on preventing as even a short lapse in concentration can have serious consequences for all road users.
“This is also addressed in the Highway Code.”
Last January, a woman was fined £145 for peeling and eating a banana while behind the wheel. She was also stung with three penalty points on her licence.
Elsa Harris was charged with found guilty of driving without due care and attention.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain at the time, the 45-year-old admitted that the fine and licence points had not stopped her eating behind the wheel.
When she was asked by Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard whether the fine had changed her habits, she said: “I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t.
“I am very careful to have one hand on the wheel. It was purely because he couldn’t see my hands on the wheel,” Elsa told them.
Eating and drinking…