Driver's Alleged Crime: Drinking Coffee

Minnesota woman was left 'dumbfounded'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2015 11:58 AM CDT
Driver's Alleged Crime: Drinking Coffee
This could get you a ticket, say police.   (Shutterstock)

There's a good chance you broke the law on your way to work today—at least in the eyes of Minnesota police. The offense: drinking coffee while driving. Lindsey Krieger tells KMSP she was "dumbfounded" when an officer told her she'd been pulled over for the apparent crime in St. Paul on Wednesday. "It’s against the law to drink coffee while you’re driving,'" she quotes the officer as telling her. As it turns out, the cop let her off with a warning for the coffee but gave her a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt (which Krieger says she unbuckled only after being pulled over).

So was the officer right? Well, "kind of," a post at Munchies explains, because drinking coffee would fall under rules against distracted driving. A St. Paul police rep says drivers can be ticketed for basically any act that takes their attention from the road, and coffee clearly seems to qualify: The NHTSA recently concluded that drivers who eat and drive increase their risk of an accident by 80%, and it ranked coffee as the most dangerous product to consume behind the wheel. Krieger, meanwhile, plans to fight the ticket—and keep sipping coffee in her car. (Applying Chapstick at a red light might get you in trouble, too.)

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