Allow me to paint the scene for you. You are on 101 heading towards the White Mountains, and can't help but notice a building pressure in your bladder. It seems you have misjudged the length of this drive, and the need to pee is becoming more and more urgent with each passing mile.

You could blame the Gatorade sitting in your cupholder, or you could blame the fact that you had a child and your bladder has never quite been the same. But this is no time for the blame game. This pee is coming, whether you like it or not. Decisions must be made.

Sure, you could wait for the next rest stop, but you REALLY need to pee.

You pull off onto the shoulder of the highway, hike a few feet back into the woods, and drop trow. Seems harmless, right?

I couldn't help but wonder if this seemingly harmless act of relieving one's bladder is illegal in the Granite State. "Pee Free or Die", as it says on the license plate! I decided to investigate.

In the United States, we are pretty against public urination. Some states have laws against it, but if they don’t, it falls under disorderly conduct. Moreover, as you are in public (even if you strategically position your car door to partially cover you), you may be charged with indecent exposure or public lewdness. If you are found guilty, you are then forced to register as a sex offender. So much for the land of the free.

In the rest of the world, the view is pretty relaxed, especially in rural areas. You are safe as long as you don’t pee inside private property, and as long as you don’t expose yourself.

Getty Images
Getty Images

According to, the law against urination and defecation in public is as follows:

A person is guilty of a violation if such person urinates or defecates in a public place, other than a public restroom, under circumstances where the person knew or should have known would likely cause affront or alarm to another.

Rear View Of A Man Peeing In Park
Getty Images/iStockphoto

 Have you ever peed on the side of the road? Would you do it even if you knew you were breaking the law?

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