Yes, it is Illegal to Block Traffic While Waiting for the Drive-Thru in Michigan
I get it, sometimes you don't want to get out and grab your food or coffee when you're going through the drive thru. During the winter here in Michigan, I can especially understand the appeal of possibly waiting a couple of extra minutes in line just to make sure you don't have to trudge snow, sludge, or even rain into your vehicle.
But what do you do when the drive-thru line is so long that it spills into the road, is it still the responsible decision to go through the drive-thru, or do you just tough it out and go inside?
I saw a few people complaining online recently about the line at the Starbucks on Fuller spilling into the road, and how it's causing traffic issues for people in the area. But that's not the only offender I've spotted here in Grand Rapids.
In fact, when they opened the Chik-Fil-A in Walker earlier this year, I watched people do the same on Lake Michigan, nearly causing accidents daily. I remember being so mad trying to get home and having others blocking the entrance I needed to use to get home.
Can you block traffic if the drive-thru line is too long?
According to the Michigan vehicle code law, 257.674 section 674 there are dozens of places you cannot park your car. The law states,
A vehicle must not be parked, except if necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the law or the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device.
However, if you're waiting in line while the car is running, technically your car isn't in park. So are you actually breaking the law?
Well- there is another code in Michigan law that covers that loophole, stating
Stopping, parking or leaving vehicle upon paved or main traveled part of highway or upon paved or unpaved part of limited access highway; violation as civil infraction.
Which confirms the act is in fact, illegal.
Will you get a ticket if you block the road while waiting for the drive-thru in Michigan?
Yes, you can get a ticket for doing this.
But the odds are pretty low that an officer would go through the effort to ruin your day. However, you are breaking the law, so keep that in mind if you try to be a rebel and wait in the road instead of going inside.