COBB COUNTY, Ga. — We’ve all grabbed something to eat at a drive-thru window and eaten it in our car, but it got one man in trouble for doing just that in Atlanta.
Madison Turner was given a ticket after getting caught eating a cheeseburger while driving in Cobb County.
Many drivers were surprised to hear Cobb County police pulled Turner over and ticketed him for eating a quarter-pounder while driving, WGCL reported.
“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for two miles,” Turner told WSBTV. “He said specifically three times, ‘You can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.’”
“Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much,” Turner told the station. “I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so, but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished.”
Christy Fletcher said she does it all when she’s in her car.
“Eat in the car, listening to music, changing the radio station, talking on the phone,” Fletcher said.
“I think that’s kind of ridiculous,” said Rahmel Style, another surprised driver. “I mean, it’s not like he was using the phone.”
It’s illegal to text and drive in Georgia, but most drivers had no idea the state’s distracted driver law covers anything that takes our attention away from the road. Even a burger.
And the penalties can be tough.
“You can get up to three points on your driver’s license for this charge, and a several hundred dollar fine up to a thousand dollar fine,” said defense attorney Sam Nash. “As far as your insurance rates, they will increase for at least three years, and they’ll always follow you around.”
Nash says the law could even force you to do a year in jail. He says most cops will only cite you for distracted driving if they’ve spotted some other violation. But he warned that the law is on the books and police can use it.
“If I got pulled over for doing it, I would accept the responsibility,” said one driver.
Turner is from Alabama. Police are not saying anything about the case because Turner has not yet appeared in court.