Is it Illegal to Eat Behind the Wheel in Connecticut?
I've seen it all in my 35+ years of daily driving on I-84, Rt. 8, the Merritt, Highland Ave, Padanarum Road, and 202. Have you ever seen a group of teenagers eating a pizza out of the box while they were driving?
That's what I was behind last night on 202 on my way North through New Milford. Seriously, the driver and the passenger had a pizza on their dash, and they were stuffing slices in their face. They were doing 35 in a 45 also, and I was the bad guy, because I was crawling up their butt. This situation started me thinking, is it illegal to eat while you drive in Connecticut? I found the answer - in a way, yes.
On a national level, there are no laws specifically targeting eating while driving, but, according to findlaw.com, because of the way that local laws are worded, eating while driving may be enough to classify it as an offense for Distracted Driving.
In Connecticut, the Department of Transportation has clearly outlined their plan to combat distracted driving, you can read all about that by clicking HERE. To answer the question, it is not illegal to eat behind the wheel in Connecticut, but if you're swerving or going way too slow in your Audi because you're stuffing pork belly in your face, there's the area where an observant officer may have grounds to issue a ticket. If you happen to commit another violation in the midst of stuffing delicious pork belly in your face while driving your Audi, you absolutely fall into Secondary Enforcement of Distracted Driving laws.
My suggestion is the same as it would be for someone texting while they drive, it can wait. You own a microwave? Use it, and go 45 on 202 in the meantime.