Is It Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in New Hampshire?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Have you ever been on a long car ride and you start to feel unbelievably sleepy? You try everything you can think of combat the sleepiness, including smacking your own face, rolling down the windows and letting the cold air hit your face, and blasting upbeat music. But sometimes, the smartest and safest thing to do is pull over and sneak in a little roadside snooze. There are even highway signs that tell you to do this. I was curious what the law is around sleeping your car in New Hampshire. Is it legal or not? I did a little digging.
According to my findings, New Hampshire does not have any laws or rules against sleeping in your vehicle while at a rest area. According to an article on Boondockers Bible, The State expects drowsy drivers to pull into a rest area to sleep. They would prefer you sleep in your vehicle instead of on the grass or on a picnic table.
The problem is when you are unsafely parked or in violation of any parking restrictions. Police then have the right to ask you to move. Also, you mustn't be above the drink drive limit or under the influence of drugs. So don't try "sleeping off your buzz" after a party in New Hampshire. According to Howie Law Office, even if you never put the car in drive, New Hampshire's laws allow police to charge you with drunk driving, even if you’re just sleeping in your car while above the legal limit. If you find yourself in this predicament, splurge for the Uber or Lyft. It is far cheaper than a drunk driving conviction!
Are There Fines for Sleeping in Your Car in New Hampshire?
If you're found sleeping in your car on private property, you could be liable for trespassing. Several stores with large parking lots permit people to park overnight in designated spots in their lot. Always look for signage on whether it's prohibited.