Teen Slapped with Ticket for Using McDonald’s App in Drive-Thru

mcdonald's app ticket

A warning from a Saskatoon driver about using fast-food apps while in the drive-thru line — a trip to get a free lunch at McDonald’s cost him a lot more than he bargained for.

“I’m barely even moving. I pull up my app and look at the rear-view mirror and there’s a motorcycle cop behind me,” Mason Prima told CTV News about the moment he was pulled over going through the McDonald’s drive-thru in Saskatoon.

He didn’t think anything of using the app, which he needed to get the free lunch he had earned through reward points. Then the RCMP officer came to his window.

“I just go like this and show him I’m on my McDonald’s app loading up the code to get a free meal,” Prima said. He thought that would be the end of it. “I did think he was just going to let me go because I’m just trying to get a free meal, but no, turns out to be a very expensive lunch.”

Prima explained that the whole process felt like a catch-22. He needed the app to complete his order, and it’s the first thing McDonald’s staff ask for when you pull up. “I was kind of shocked to be honest. I’ve never had that before — I open up my app every time I go over to the drive-thru and I’ve never had that issue,” he said.

Local criminal defense lawyer Brian Pfefferle says there is a grey area surrounding technology use and the law, since the cellphone use was on private property and not a public road. The lawyer questioned the circumstances, noting that cell phone use while driving is clearly dangerous, but Prima’s situation was different.

“I didn’t have my foot on the gas or brake. It was just rolling. Barely moving,” Prima said.

Prima, who has been driving for two and a half years, says he has only had one speeding ticket in that time and is careful to keep his cell phone out of reach while driving. The fine he faces is $580, which, for this 18-year-old, is a significant amount. He is more worried about the demerits on his license. He will be fighting the ticket in court, with a date set for the end of July.

Have you ever received a distracted driving ticket for pulling up an app at a drive-thru window?

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