A Sydney man has reportedly avoided a $352 fine and five demerit points thanks to his courtroom demonstration of how he opens a packet of cheese and crackers.
The 35-year-old motorist was caught holding something in his hands by a mobile detection camera in Moore Park, and was issued the fine and demerit points on the basis he was using his phone behind the wheel, The Daily Telegraph reports.
However, he was able to revoke the penalties after claiming he was instead opening the Aldi-branded snack Dippits, with an in-person demonstration crucial to his successful court battle.
Snack opening demonstration swayed court battle
It is not illegal to eat while driving in NSW as long as the driver maintains control of the vehicle, with the motorist’s defence lawyer stating in court that his client did retain control while opening the snack.
“My client had proper control of the vehicle because the photo showed his left hand was in contact with the steering wheel while he was attempting to open the packet,” Benjamin Goh said, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The motorist was called to give evidence to the court and a packet of Dippits was reportedly tendered to the court, before the man’s demonstration from the witness box.
All eyes examined whether his movements mirrored those visible in the mobile detection camera’s image, with a key factor being whether he opened the snack from the end containing the cheese or the end containing the crackers.
His appeal was deemed credible by the court and all penalties were dropped.
“My client is a hardworking Australian who was simply trying to have his afternoon tea after finishing work,” Mr Goh said.
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