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Police confirm man was not fined $117 for drinking water while driving

steering wheel driving mgn.jpg
Man fined $117 for drinking water while driving on 102-degree day. (Photo: MGN)

UPDATE:

The Queensland Police Service has dismissed the claim that a man was fined for drinking water while driving, according to ABC Radio Brisbane. Authorities contacted the driver that made the claim and he confirmed a fine was not issued to him.

However, an officer with the Road Policing Command did say that drivers can be fined if they drive distracted and eating and drinking could cause that to occur.

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Original Story

An Australian man says he's protesting a $173 ASD ($117 USD) fine he received for drinking from a bottle of water while driving, according to ABC Radio Brisbane.

It was 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) in Queensland when Brock Harris left his job after 12 hours on the clock.

When Harris got into his car, he found out the air conditioning was not working.

Harris told ABC Radio Brisbane:

I stopped and bought a bottle of water and as I was pulling into my street I was pulled over by the police and told it was illegal to drink anything while driving. If it is against the law then I'll pay the fine, but it's not compassionate to fine someone on a 39-degree day [for trying to] stay hydrated. The policeman told me there was nothing I could do and he was doing his job — but I am going to challenge the fine.

When it comes to drinking non-alcoholic beverages while driving, police in Queensland, Australia say enforcing the rule all comes down to the circumstances.

Queensland Police Superintendent David Johnson said:

There are many people who consume drinks while driving and do it safely in a safe manner. For us to issue a fine we have to look at the circumstances to see if the driver's actions are causing risks to themselves or others. Driving without due care and attention was once put before court, but these days it's a traffic infringement notice that is issued. Having a pet on their lap, driving the car with your knees, putting make-up on or getting changed at the wheel are all ways of being distracted at the wheel. If I saw someone drinking out of a bottle with a straw and they were staying in their lanes observing what was happening around them and had a quick drink and continued on that would be fine. But it would concern us if the consequences of their actions caused injury or death to other road users
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