Is It Illegal to Eat While Driving in Colorado?
Sometimes you have to enjoy meals on wheels, literally, and devour your breakfast or lunch while driving back to work. Is it considered permissible in Colorado to eat while driving?
It's fairly safe to say most of us have been guilty of this. Sometimes, you either eat on the go, or you don't eat. What do the laws in Colorado have to say about this?
Most Of Us Are Probably Guilty
During my misspent youth, I nearly caused an accident while trying to grab a piece of pizza out of the box located on the front passenger-side floor. This was a special kind of stupid on my behalf. If you were the driver in the westbound lane by Mesa Mall circa 1986, you have my sincere apologies. I'm the dumdum in the ridiculous-looking brown and orange Mercury Zephyr with plastic seat covers that nearly hit you head-on.
Distracted Driving In Colorado
The official word from the Colorado Department of Transportation reads as follows:
Here are a few more statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation:
Codot.gov also offers the results of a survey from which participants were asked what kinds of distractions they had experienced while driving over the course of a week. The number one reply was "Ate food or drank beverage," coming in at 83%.
What Do Colorado Law Firms Have To Say Regarding the Topic?
Sawyer Legal Group LLC, a law firm practicing in Colorado, offers valuable information on its webpage. According to their post, "Food On the Go: A Traffic Offense In Colorado?":
It is illegal to text and drive in the state of Colorado. This law can be found under C.R.S. 42-4-239. While it isn't included in the law itself, the police and legislators consider texting and driving to be “distracted driving.” Also included in this vague definition is: eating and drinking, shaving or applying makeup, reading a map, adjusting the radio or other devices, talking to other passengers or interacting with pets or children. None of these actions are included in the law, but are listed on the CDOT website under “distracted driving.” - denvercriminalattorneylaweyer.com
Other Sources In Colorado
The website trustedchoice.com offers "A Guide to Colorado's Distracted Driving Laws." In their post, they ask, "Is It Legal to Eat a Cheeseburger while Driving in Colorado?" According to their post:
So, what happens if a police officer in Colorado spots you eating a cheeseburger while driving down the street? In most cases, nothing. There is no law that specifically states that you cannot eat while driving in this state. - trustedchoice.com
A Different Point of View
A trucker using the handle "Tarmadilo" disagrees with the law firms above. According to his post at Truckers Report:
I got pulled over in Colorado by a state trooper and given a written warning for eating an apple while driving. Turns out it IS illegal to eat while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
Clear As Mud?
Clearly, distracted driving can be extremely dangerous. Almost every state in the country bans texting and driving. When it comes to eating and driving, there appears to be a little more grey area.