Public urination bill gets zipped by committee

Public urination bill doused by Va. Senate committee

An attempt to make public urination a crime was effectively flushed for the year this morning.

State Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen offered a bill, SB 626, at the request of a northern Virginia homeowners group whose residents, he said, have complained about students from a nearby college using their shrubs as makeshift urinals after evenings out drinking.

Petersen noted that under existing law, public urination charges are often filed as indecent exposure violations, a class 1 misdemeanor. His proposal would have made it a class 4 misdemeanor, which carries a lesser penalty – a fine of up to $250.

“I put this in, I think it’s self-explanatory,” Petersen, D-Fairfax County, told the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, adding that it wouldn’t be a retroactive law.

His proposal elicited snickers and mumbled jokes from senators he presented it to, though nothing approaching toilet humor.

“Rushing water makes you do strange things,” said committee chairman Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City County.

Members bypassed Petersen’s proposal on a voice vote.

Please contact us if you need legal advice.

Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C.
Charlottesville, Virginia


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