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Throwing a bottle of urine from a vehicle is illegal

Sometimes when I’m out biking I see plastic bottles of what appear to be urine along the road. Is it illegal to throw urine out of a vehicle, or is this just regular littering?

— Grossed out bicyclist

Chucking a bottle of urine out a vehicle window is indeed its own separate crime with higher penalties than regular littering.

A driver or passenger could be cited for improperly disposing of human waste.

Under Oregon law, “A person commits the offense of improperly disposing of human waste if the person is operating or riding in a motor vehicle and the person throws, puts or otherwise leaves a container of urine or other human waste on or beside the highway.”

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious level of misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor in Oregon is a fine of up to $6,250 and up to a year in jail, according to criminaldefenselawyer.com.

In comparison, throwing trash from a vehicle is classified as offensive littering, a Class C misdemeanor, according to Oregon Revised Statutes.

A Class C misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $1,250 and jail time of up to 30 days, according to criminaldefenselawyer.com.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.