Is it Illegal to Vape and Drive? All You Need to Know
Is it Illegal to Vape and Drive
Is it illegal to vape and drive? If you’re a vaper who also owns a car then you’ll no doubt want to know the answer – assuming you want to avoid fines and driving bans, that is!
Few things are as stressful as sitting in traffic when you’ve got somewhere to be, and one sure-fire way to ease that frustration is taking a few cheeky puffs on your vape. But are you breaking the law by vaping behind the wheel?
A few years back, senior police officers issued a warning to motorists about the potential dangers of vaping whilst driving. They said those caught using their device could face prosecution and even lose their licence, but what exactly does the law say?
As is often the case when it comes to motoring offences, things aren’t exactly black and white. A lot depends on the circumstances and the discretion of the officer dealing with you. To give you a clearer idea of whether or not you’re likely to get into trouble for vaping in your vehicle, let’s take a look at the law and see whether it is in fact illegal to vape and drive.
Can You Vape and Drive?
So, is it illegal to vape and drive? The answer is no, not necessarily, as vaping while driving in itself is not an illegal act. However, before you hop into your vehicle with your e-cig in tow, hit the brakes for a second as things aren’t quite so straightforward!
You see, while vaping and driving alone isn’t necessarily against the law, driving without due care and attention most certainly is. This means that if your vaping is affecting your driving then you could still end up in hot water. In the end, it all depends on whether the police believe your vaping is having a significant effect on your driving.
For instance, if the officer feels your view is being hampered by clouds of vapour and you’re failing to control your vehicle properly, you could end up on the receiving end of a fine. In more serious cases the fine can reach up to £5,000, while you might also receive up to 9 penalty points and even a ban.
To Vape or Not to Vape?
So, considering the subjective nature of the law, should you vape while you’re driving or is it something that’s best avoided? Ultimately, the decision lies with you, but beware of the risks – if you’re spotted by an overzealous officer, you could find yourself in a real spot of bother.
Also, keep in mind that vaping could affect your insurance, too. In the event of an accident, insurance companies will almost certainly refuse to pay out if they can prove your vision was compromised by your vaping. This might leave you with a hefty bill if you’re found to be at fault for the accident.
With all this in mind, you may decide that the risks simply aren’t worth it. On the other hand, if you’re out in the car and decide you simply have to use your e-cigarette, there are some things you can do to minimise the chances of disrupting your driving and being pulled over by the police.
Ways to Avoid Getting into Trouble
·Park up while you use you’re using your e-cig
·Keep windows open
·Don’t get distracted by your device
·Try to limit usage until you’ve stopped driving
If your car is parked and your engine is turned off when you’re using your device then you can vape as much as you like without getting into trouble. Stopping to use your device might not always be possible, but if you’ve got time then this is the safest way to vape whilst driving.
If you absolutely must vape whilst driving then try to limit your usage. Keeping your windows down so your vision isn’t impaired whilst also ensuring you don’t get distracted by your device will not only keep you safe but hopefully keep the police off your back too!
So that’s pretty much all you need to know about vaping and driving. To summarise, is it illegal to vape and drive? Although the law doesn’t specifically prohibit the use of vape devices in vehicles, if the police feel your vaping is affecting your driving then you could face a fine, penalty points and even a driving ban. That’s why we’d advise pulling over or waiting until you’re home before using your vape.