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Old 04-23-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
fuzzybabybunny
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Default Cops: is it illegal to sleep overnight in your car?

I've always wondered this while traveling. Is it illegal to park on the side of the road and sleep overnight in your car? In a residential community I think it'd be alright. In a parking lot - since it's private it would have to depend on the owner of the parking lot (Walmarts and Costcos are generally ok).

What about a scenic pullout, such as on Highway 1?
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
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If it's illegal to be homeless sleeping on the streets. Sure.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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If it's illegal to homeless sleeping on the streets. Sure.
Well, I think the question is more like "where is it illegal / suspicious to park overnight on the street?" It's not like I'm sleeping out in the open.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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Just drive around, and look for a place you can blend in. Shopping center, quiet residential street, parking garage... Just use your head. Don't sleep where you're likely to get knifed :^D
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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Well, I think the question is more like "where is it illegal / suspicious to park overnight on the street?" It's not like I'm sleeping out in the open.
Many places are "illegal" to park on the street overnight. These are determined by local bylaws and ordinances, so you may get a ticket or worse, stabbed in your sleep. Town of XYZ - no overnight parking - never seen one of these signs?
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:10 PM   #6
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I went down to Kentucky a month or so ago. Figured I'd take a nap at a rest area. Wasn't a rest area for the last 150 miles, so I drove straight to where I was going & figured I'd park in front of their barn & when they got up in the morning, they'd see me out there.

Their guard dogs went nuts when I pulled in, so I went back up the road about 1/4 mile to a small church & pulled into the parking lot close to the road. I reclined the seat all the way back, I put a pillow under my head, I covered up with a blanket.

<knock knock knock knock> - someone woke me up rapping on my window. It was a guy from the local volunteer fire department. Someone called 911 because it looked like an unresponsive person in a car who might have had a heart attack. He called in to county dispatch & had the guys in the ambulance go back before they arrived. Figured at that point that it was time to take a ride to kill a couple hours.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:13 PM   #7
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I went down to Kentucky a month or so ago. Figured I'd take a nap at a rest area. Wasn't a rest area for the last 150 miles, so I drove straight to where I was going & figured I'd park in front of their barn & when they got up in the morning, they'd see me out there.

Their guard dogs went nuts when I pulled in, so I went back up the road about 1/4 mile to a small church & pulled into the parking lot close to the road. I reclined the seat all the way back, I put a pillow under my head, I covered up with a blanket.

<knock knock knock knock> - someone woke me up rapping on my window. It was a guy from the local volunteer fire department. Someone called 911 because it looked like an unresponsive person in a car who might have had a heart attack. He called in to county dispatch & had the guys in the ambulance go back before they arrived. Figured at that point that it was time to take a ride to kill a couple hours.

lol
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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If you park and take a nap in a rest area nobody is going to even bat an eye. You could also find a 24 hour big box store (like some walmart or target locations) and use their parking lot. Just park out near the edge of the lot and nobody will probably care.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #9
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hospital is a good place also. or an airport, but that might be a bit loud. i guess both might be loud

did you really need 2 of these posts...
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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I've napped in rest areas many times over the years. No problems from the cops at all.

Residential streets however, you may get hassled. Every locality is a bit different on this subject.

Along the side of the freeway? You're gonna get rousted...that's almost guaranteed.

I've also pulled over and slept on on/off ramps where traffic is light, but I've also had cops stop and check me out, just because they can.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:05 AM   #11
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just park where you would park if you were going to get it on with a chick in the backseat.

one time i pulled over to the side of the road to look for some chips in my trunk and this cop comes from out of nowhere and is like wtf are you doing on the side of the road?
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:23 AM   #12
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Thanks guys iv always wanted to spend a night on the beach in savannah and then drive back in the morning
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:28 AM   #13
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I've also pulled over and slept on on/off ramps where traffic is light
why would you do this?
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:36 AM   #14
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why would you do this?
It's what truckers do.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:39 AM   #15
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why would you do this?
Because it's close to the freeway but OFF the freeway where the cops are less likely to hassle you for pulling over.
I've travelled most of my life chasing construction. Sometimes, rather than get a motel for the night, I'd drive until midnight, pull off the road on an off-ramp where there wasn't much traffic, get a couple hours of sleep, then back on the road again.

Hell, there were quite a few times, I'd work 16 or more hours on the job, and since I had a 100 mile commute home, I'd nap on one of the off-ramps east of Oakland...(about 20 miles east) Eden Canyon for youse East Bayers...It's better to pull over and sleep a couple hours than to pile up your car/truck trying to get home.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:42 AM   #16
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what sucks is if your drunk, and you just wanna sleep in your car. You can get a dui.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Because it's close to the freeway but OFF the freeway where the cops are less likely to hassle you for pulling over.
I've travelled most of my life chasing construction. Sometimes, rather than get a motel for the night, I'd drive until midnight, pull off the road on an off-ramp where there wasn't much traffic, get a couple hours of sleep, then back on the road again.

Hell, there were quite a few times, I'd work 16 or more hours on the job, and since I had a 100 mile commute home, I'd nap on one of the off-ramps east of Oakland...(about 20 miles east) Eden Canyon for youse East Bayers...It's better to pull over and sleep a couple hours than to pile up your car/truck trying to get home.
Yeah, I've done this too. You'll see lots of truckers do this as well - sleeping along on and off ramps.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:12 AM   #18
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Last time I slept in my car I parked in front of the police station and slept there. Nobody bothered me.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:36 PM   #19
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FBB are you homeless?
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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what sucks is if your drunk, and you just wanna sleep in your car. You can get a dui.
take the keys out of the ignition, put them in the trunk or glove box, and be in the back or passenger seat.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:57 PM   #21
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I've napped in rest areas many times over the years. No problems from the cops at all.

Residential streets however, you may get hassled. Every locality is a bit different on this subject.

Along the side of the freeway? You're gonna get rousted...that's almost guaranteed.

I've also pulled over and slept on on/off ramps where traffic is light, but I've also had cops stop and check me out, just because they can.

Happened to me last night along 80 coming back from OAK.
Got drowsy all of a sudden as I drove back from my line haul. Pulled of @ East Chiles Rd to catch a few winks. I had about 45 mins left to drive and figured it was time to pull over. 5 mins later, I'm all lit up and after letting the window down with my hands in sight and moving slowly, told the UCDavis cop exactly that. Dude was probably our age (hard to do a silver beard < 35yo ) so when he said "ahhh, ok!" it was with a certain tone that indicated he knew what a nap means to working guys like us. I told him I would be outta there in about 10 minutes. He said have a good evening and drove off.
I went home and lived happily ever after.
The end.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:58 PM   #22
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Only if you sleep with a stuffed bunny.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:22 PM   #23
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take the keys out of the ignition, put them in the trunk or glove box, and be in the back or passenger seat.
DO NOT LEAVE KEYS ON PERSON (in pockets) !!1! Get out of front seat if at all possible!
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:24 PM   #24
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take the keys out of the ignition, put them in the trunk or glove box, and be in the back or passenger seat.
That doesn't necessarily matter.

You'd also (probably) qualify for public intoxication under those circumstances.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:41 PM   #25
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That doesn't necessarily matter.

You'd also (probably) qualify for public intoxication under those circumstances.
depends on the state, but generally speaking, you have to be in control of the car to be charged with a dui... something as little as having the keys on your person while in the car or being in the driver's seat could be enough to determine that you were in control of the car, but it'd be a hard case to make if you were in the back seat and the keys were in the glove box or trunk.
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