Queensland Police are to verify claims by a motorist who alleges he was fined $173 for drinking a bottle of water while driving.
Beaudesert man Brock Harris told ABC radio he had just finished a 12-hour day at work in 39-degree heat when he discovered the air conditioner in his car was not working.
He said he stopped and bought a bottle of water and as he was pulling onto his street he was pulled over by the police and 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,” Mr Harris 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.”
Mr Harris, who said he planned to challenge the fine, claimed the police officer told him “he was doing his job”.
In a statement issued to The New Daily on Friday afternoon, Queensland Police said 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.”
A Queensland Police spokesman told The New Daily that attempts to speak with Mr Harris had so far been unsuccessful.
“Anyone who may have information that may substantiate the claims is urged to come forward,” the spokesman said.
While it isn’t technically against the law to drink a bottle of water while driving, motorists can be fined if they are clearly distracted.
“Distractions while driving can have serious consequences and attract significant penalties,” Queensland police confirmed.
“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.