Is it illegal to drink something non-alcoholic while driving?
The answer is no, but laws of good taste should deem drinking horrible stuff like sarsaparilla illegal at any time. Unfortunately it is not illegal to drink a non-alcoholic beverage while driving, so my hatred of sarsaparilla must go unpunished.
While it is definitely illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car, or to be drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving, there are no laws against sipping a can of soft drink, or enjoying an iced iced coffee, while cruising down the freeway.
It always pays to leave the lids on hot drinks, and ensure they are securely fastened in cupholders to prevent being scalded by them. More than one crash has also occurred thanks to someone trying to cradle a hot drink between their legs (which is illegal) and drive.
You should always remember to keep drinks within easy reach so you don't have to look away from the road to reach it, which could lead to disastrous distraction. Having them securely located in cupholders will also stop drinks from rolling around.
It is important to secure large bottles of a litre or more, as these items can become lethal projectiles in a sudden stop or crash. The average litre bottle of water weighs 1kg, which is enough to kill a human if it hits the wrong part of your head as it flies through the air.
If the police feel you are not in full control of your vehicle then you can still be fined if they see you, or if you drinking something is found to have been a cause of or contributing factor to a crash.
This article is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your local road authority to verify the information written here is suitable to your situation before driving in this manner.