New Bill Makes Drinking Coffee While Driving a ‘Criminal Act’


Claire Bernish | The Free Thought Project

Drinking coffee while driving could land you in hot water if a new piece of legislation passes.

A bill in New Jersey targeting distracted drivers would levy hefty fines and a possible license suspension against those who eat, drink, groom, read, or use electronic devices while behind the wheel. In other words, drive and only drive, or else!

Although the bill’s sponsors — Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, both Democrats — claim the legislation is intended to educate, not punish, drivers, its penalties speak volumes.

“Violators could face a $200 to $400 fine for the first offense and a $400 to $600 fine for a second offense. A third or subsequent offense could mean a fine of $600 to $800 and up to a 90 day license suspension, as well as motor vehicle points,” according to

If that isn’t punishment, one has to wonder what is.

“The issue is that we need to try, in every way, to discourage distracted driving, it’s dangerous,” Wisniewski explained. “Education and enforcement can change the attitudes of people.”

While some experts do indeed believe in discouraging distracted driving, others take issue with the bill’s extreme overreach — not to mention the potential opening of floodgates for further intrusion into people’s lives — and question how police would even enforce such a measure.

As Steve Carrellas, policy and government affairs director of the National Motorists Association’s New Jersey chapter, noted in

“This proposed distracted driving law is not needed, since three statutes can be used when a distraction causes unsafe actions, like swerving or crossing a line. There is unsafe driving, careless driving, and reckless driving.”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Jim Williamson

    Fuck NJ!! Im so glad I moved 20 years ago

    • Doreencary1

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  • charles bishop

    Laws don’t need to be passed to “educate” people. The last thing everyone wants is a bunch of snapper heads driving around in the morning without their coffee. We all know people from Jersey talk so loud they don’t need their cell phones, but this is rediculous.