Police Speak Out Over Driver's Claims He Was Fined For Drinking Water
Queensland Police are working to verify claims a driver was fined for drinking a bottle of water behind the wheel.
Brock Harris had finished a long day at work in 39-degree heat when he discovered the air conditioner in his car was playing up.
He told ABC Radio Brisbane that he stopped and bought a bottle of water and has he was pulling onto his street he was pulled over by the police and was told it was "illegal to drink anything while driving".
"They told me it was classed as not paying due care and attention and hit me with $173 and one demerit point," he said.
"If it is against the law then I'll pay the fine, but it's not compassionate to fine someone on a 39-degree day [for trying to] stay hydrated.
"The policeman told me there was nothing I could do and he was doing his job — but I am going to challenge the fine," he continued.
Queensland Police issued a statement to 10 daily on Friday morning explaining that officers were still working to confirm the claims.
"We are aware of commentary alleging a driver had been issued an infringement for drinking from a bottle of water," it said.
"To date, police have not been able to validate these claims. A senior officer from Road Policing Command will reach out to the person involved to review the matter," the statement continued.
Police are calling for anyone that can help "substantiate the claims" to come forward.
While it technically isn't illegal to drink a bottle of water behind the wheel, it is a fineable offence if the driver is clearly distracted.
"Distractions while driving can have serious consequences and attract significant penalties," Queensland police confirmed.
According to the Queensland government, an average of 25 people are killed and 1235 others are seriously injured as a result of crashes involving distracted drivers.
Even the smallest distractions are deadly.
Driving without due care and attention in Queensland can see a person fined up to $533 and lose three demerits.
"Drivers should avoid distractions, including use of their mobile phone or responding to passengers and children in the vehicle where it diverts their attention away from the primary responsibility of ensuring a safe journey on our road," police said.