Motorists with out-of-state tags have a lot more to worry about than just speeding tickets. They now have to worry about "eating while driving" tickets.
Madison Turner, a busy web developer from Alabama, had just left a McDonald's restaurant in Marietta on January 10.
He juggled a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese in one hand while skillfully steering his car with the other.
Turner, 36, had just taken a bite out of his sandwich when he was pulled over by a Cobb County police officer.
Turner says he was surprised when the cop told him he was being cited for driving while eating.
“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for 2 miles,” he told a reporter.
Turner said the cop assured him he wasn't breaking the speed limit or driving erratically, but "you can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.”
Driving while eating is a law many Atlanta residents are unfamiliar with.
“If this was the law, I’d have to hire more attorneys because everybody does it including me,” said William Head, a DUI attorney, who is not representing Turner.
According to the ticket, the officer wrote him up under Georgia’s distracted driving law, and under the comments sections wrote “eating while driving.”
That law reads, in part: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”
“Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished,” Madison said.
“I’ve only seen something like this charge when there’s an accident. There was no accident here so the fact that this man was charged with eating and driving is a first for me,” Head said. Head added that law was very vague.
“Maybe if you had a giant pizza in both hands and you weren’t holding the wheel or maybe if you had a watermelon, half watermelon and you were just diving into it holding it with both hands, maybe that would be something,” Head said.
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