Washington state is now enforcing a new distracted driving law that is a lot tougher than previously. Having the phone up to your ear or texting while driving has always been illegal, but now you cannot use your phone at all in the car, even at a stoplight. Texting, checking your Facebook, responding to a text, or any use of your phone is no longer permitted by the driver of the vehicle at all, including while the vehicle is stopped at a red light or in traffic.
This does not include the "minimal use of the finger' or to contact emergency services and use a radio.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the law is that you will now get pulled over for eating, drinking, or grooming. While yes, this could result in another fine of $99 you will NOT be pulled over for taking a drink from your coffee alone. You will only be flagged by an officer if you are drinking while committing a traffic offense. For example, you ran a red light and swerved into another lane because you were looking down to pick up your cup.
This was pulled directly from the Washington Traffic Zero website according to the "other forms of distracted driving."
"You can also get a $99 ticket for other types of distractions such as grooming, smoking, eating, or reading if the activity interferes with safe driving, and you are pulled over for another traffic offense."
Can you drink your coffee and drive safely? You're fine.
Want more info? Check out the Washington Target Zero Website. I'd recommend checking out the link, it breaks down the law into very easy to understand terms. Even better, it comes straight from Washington State, so you know it's the correct law and terms.