Should you fall asleep in your car in Massachusetts? It is not illegal per se, but there are nuances to the law that one needs to be aware of to avoid unwanted situations.

Can You Fall Asleep In Your Car In Massachusetts?

In the state of Massachusetts, there’s no law on the books that specifically outlaws sleeping in your car. Whether you’re on a road trip and need to catch some shut-eye or you’ve found yourself between accommodations, your vehicle can act as a makeshift bedroom.

However, where you decide to park and rest is essential. If you choose to park in a location that’s private property, you could run afoul of trespassing laws. Property owners have the right to control and regulate their property. So, even if you’re just catching a few Z’s and mean no harm, if you’re parked in an area that’s marked as private property or has signs like “No Trespassing” or “No Overnight Parking,” you could find yourself facing trespassing charges.

In other words, make sure that wherever you pull over, you are not on private property.

man sleeping at the wheel in his car

As much as you want to fall asleep in your car, there are a few things you should know first.

Rest Areas: A Safe Bet for Weary Travelers

For those unfamiliar with rest areas, they are designated places alongside highways that provide drivers and their passengers a place to rest, use restrooms, and stretch their legs. They are particularly useful for those on long journeys. There are a number of them throughout the state.

The good news for drowsy drivers in Massachusetts is that there are no laws or regulations prohibiting anyone from sleeping in their vehicle while parked at a rest area. In fact, the state expects drowsy drivers to use rest areas for sleeping. It’s always better to pull over and rest if you’re feeling fatigued than to risk driving while tired.

man yawning in his car because he's so tired

Rest stops will be a safe place to pull over and take a quick nap. Just make sure you’re in a safe space!

What If You’ve Had Too Much To Drink? Can You “Sleep It Off?”

Let’s say you’ve had a couple of drinks and want to take a cat nap. Think again! An individual can still be charged with an OUI (operating under influence) even if they’re not technically “driving.” In Massachusetts, if the car is parked, stopped, or even idling on a “public way” or a place where the public “has a right of access as invitees or licensees”, the individual is “operating” the vehicle and can be charged with OUI.

Doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the law.

woman feeling stress and angry during drive car long time. Asian girl tired and fatigue having headache stop after driving car in traffic jam.

You can still get arrested for “drunk sleeping.” Read why.

Safety Precautions

While it’s legal to sleep in your car at rest areas and public spaces that don’t have restrictions, always take safety precautions:

  1. Lock Your Doors: Whether at a rest area or another parking spot, always lock your doors when you’re inside.
  2. Stay Discreet: Use window shades or curtains to block out light and maintain privacy.
  3. Choose Well-Lit Areas: If possible, park in well-lit areas to deter potential threats.
  4. Be Aware of Surroundings: Before settling in for the night, scan the area and note any exit routes or nearby landmarks.

Next Time You Want To Catch Some Zzzz’s

In Massachusetts, the act of sleeping in your car isn’t illegal, but where you decide to do so makes all the difference. Always be mindful of signage, especially in areas that might be private property. Rest areas, on the other hand, serve as a safe haven for those needing a break from the road. As always, prioritize your safety and well-being, and when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult local regulations or seek advice from law enforcement officers in the area. Safe travels!

8 Bizarre Laws You Can Get In Trouble For Breaking in Massachusetts

“Don’t get thrown in jail for eating a sandwich at a wake” is a golden piece of advice you never knew you needed, but you do if you live in Massachusetts. I’ve always been kind of obsessed with strange state laws – many of them have been around for ages. I’m guessing it’s a hassle to go through the process of repealing the laws so instead they just remain, hopefully mostly unenforced, just hanging out.

Did you know that in Alabama it’s illegal to drive blindfolded? (OK I hope that one is enforced!!) In Kentucky it’s illegal to marry the same man more than 3 times. In Texas it’s illegal to sell a human eye. In Arizona it’s illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub. Remember if you’re ever in Arkansas you can’t honk your horn near a sandwich shop after 9 pm. In Indiana it’s illegal to ride a horse faster than 10 miles an hour. In Connecticut a pickle must be able to bounce (but who’s really going to want to eat that dirty bounced pickle?) In Hawaii it’s illegal to place a coin in someone’s ear. In Oregon it’s illegal to go hunting in a. cemetery (sorry ghost hunters!). And in Delaware don’t even attempt to sell dog fur – that’s illegal there.

Massachusetts has it’s own fair share of bizarre state laws too. So let’s dive in! I’ll give you eight bizarre laws you can actually get into trouble for breaking in the Bay State. I’ll throw in a bizarre law that still stands in every New England state as well to spread the fun around a little bit.

One law that isn’t bizarre but is fairly unique to Massachusetts is that Happy Hours are illegal here. We’re one of 9 states in the US to ban Happy Hours. Find out what other states have banned Happy Hours and why RIGHT HERE!

And now, on with the odd Mass laws:

  • "Hands off that sammich!!"

    LAW: You can’t eat more than 3 sandwiches when attending a wake in Massachusetts.

    There may be light appetizers served but go easy, this ain’t Costco’s.

  • More cream, less fruit.

    LAW: It’s illegal to make clam chowder with tomatoes in Massachusetts.

    Duh. That’s nasty. Sorry Manhattan.

  • Governor: "Hard pass, every time."

    LAW: Duels to the death are permitted on the common on Sundays provided that the Governor is present.

    Uhhhhhh… what?!?? Can’t we just settle this with a game of chess or something?

  • Got Body Ink? Rut roh.

    LAW: Tattooing and body piercing is illegal.

    Thankfully this one was repealed in the year 2000. Good thing or those prisons would be hella overcrowded right about now.

  • Gorillas in the front, party in the back!

    LAW: No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car. 

    Obviously gorillas must be the annoying backseat drivers of the animal world.

  • Sorry "Stone Cold!"

    LAW: Goatees are illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.

    I’d gladly pay a small license fee to cover that middle age under-chin hump.

  • Zzzzzzzz....

    LAW: Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.

    Don’t you wish your snorefest neighbor knew this?!!

  • It's a hospital not a night club.

    LAW: It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients.

    That’s not your belly that’s a keg.

  • In MAINE it's illegal...

    … to park in front of Dunkin’ Donuts.

  • In RHODE ISLAND it's illegal...

    … to race a horse on a highway.

  • In VERMONT it's illegal...

    … for women to wear fake teeth without their husband’s approval.

  • In CONNECTICUT it's illegal...

    … for two people who are married to kiss in public on a Sunday

  • In NEW HAMPSHIRE it's illegal...

    … to pick up seaweed off the beach.

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