How One Woman's Ice Cream Bar Led To A Court Fine

Fines levied against an Australian woman were dropped last week. Apparently the court realized there was no evidence to charge her for driving while talking on her phone in November 2020 because what a police officer had taken to be her phone was actually a Magnum ego ice cream pop. As 9 Now reported, the Melbourne resident was issued a fine of $500 Australian dollars (AUD), which converts to just over $360 in United States dollars (USD), but ultimately, the charge was dismissed.

"Common sense has prevailed and the fine has been dropped," Michelle Course, the woman in question, told the outlet. In case it hadn't, however, she had assembled a case, including a receipt for the Magnum Ego she bought six minutes before being pulled over, her phone bill that showed no calls were made, and a recording from the police officer's dash cam. "There's no way I could be eating my Magnum Ego, holding my phone and driving at the same time," she explained. 

Can you eat and drive?

Eating an ice cream while driving is typically not an issue because there is no current legal precedent to fine people for eating and driving. In 2015, a police officer in Cobb County, Georgia attempted to issue a ticket to someone eating a burger while maneuvering their car (per Yahoo). The feeling was that unlike talking on the phone, there wasn't books written about the dangers while enjoying a burger behind the wheel. Moreover, everyone indulges in food while driving on occasion. So enforcing such a standard is too burdensome.

However, according to a report on distracted driving published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating and drinking do crop up in distraction-caused accidents. Research conducted by Insure also found that food and drinks like coffee, hamburgers, and chocolate can distract by spilling or requiring us to clean our sticky and greasy fingers before grasping the wheel once more.