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Is That Legal? 5 Common Illegal Things People Do in Parking Garages

Parking garages are convenient structures that can do more than just provide a place for your car. However, in most parking garages, it is illegal or prohibited to do anything but drive in, park your car (and in a certain way), and then later drive away. Even so, people still do more than park in these structures.

They Smoke Cigarettes

The car is one of the last places people can smoke unmolested. Restaurants, stores, most hotel rooms, and most other public buildings don’t let puffers light up anymore and levy hefty fines when they do smoke. The same is true for most parking garages these days. Just because it’s legal to puff away on cigarettes in your vehicle doesn’t mean you can keep smoking your cigarette when you leave your car. If you do, your smoke will linger for a while and bother others, unless, of course, you’re on the top floor and there is no roof.

They Loiter

Parking garages are not the most aesthetically pleasing places on the planet. That being said, people like to hang out in them sometimes, whether they have a car to park or not. Those that do have vehicles might spend time eating or just simply lounging, which is fine for a short time. Others might not have vehicles at all. In either case, your presence in a parking garage should include you coming and going, but not hanging for an extended period of time.

They Sleep

Sleeping in parking garages is not permitted anywhere. Now, we’re not talking about a quick 5-minute nap here. Generally speaking, parking garages will tolerate a quick wink. They might even let you sleep longer if the garage is at an airport, and you’ve got a flight coming up shortly. However, if you’re gearing up for a full night’s sleep because you’ve got nowhere else to go, then you could be getting a visit in the middle of the night telling you to move along.

The Back In

You may notice that often in parking garages, some of the vehicles are backed into their spaces. It seems like a great idea that allows for an easy exit, but parking in this manner is illegal in many garages, but not all of them. Why in the world would backing in be illegal? In many jurisdictions, police require vehicles to have their rear showing so officers can identify and verify rear license plates. If you’re in a jurisdiction that uses both front and back license plates, then you might find garages that allow you to back into your parking space.

They Work on Their Car

A lot of people are prohibited from working on their vehicles at home, thanks to city or HOA rules. These regulations prohibit most kinds of car repair and service in driveways, even oil changes. So, many people needing to perform car work head over to parking garages to get their mechanic on. However, just because they’re doing it there doesn’t mean it’s legal. In fact, it’s not legal and could result in a hefty fine.

Depending on the parking garage, you might find a little leniency the next time you try to do one of the above actions. If not, you could be looking at a ticket that costs you hundreds of dollars.

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