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Is It Legal to Drive Topless?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

People all enjoy different things. Some people like to drive with the windows down while others like to listen to their radios loud. Some other people? They like to drive topless.

But those who don't stay abreast of the law may fear that topless driving could potentially rack up a few criminal violations.

What's the bottom line when it comes to going topless behind the wheel?

Top Off, Chrome Spinnin'

Although it may not seem like a terribly great idea, it's generally not a crime to drive with no clothes on at all, let alone topless. And though topless drivers do sometimes get arrested, it's typically not for being topless. Usually, the toplessness is just a sign of something more troubling, like being under the influence.

Does that mean that if you're sober, driving under the speed limit, and otherwise obeying all traffic laws, that you can drive topless should the urge arise?

It may not seem fair in this age of gender equality, but if you're a man, you're probably in the clear no matter where you are. If you're a woman, however, you may want to think twice, especially when driving in certain states.

Indecent Exposure Charges Are Possible

In most states, indecent exposure laws typically only cover (or uncover, perhaps) displaying of one's genitals, and a woman's breasts are not genitals. But some states have enacted laws that particularly mention a woman's breasts.

For example, Utah's lewdness statute makes it a crime to show "the female breast below the top of the areola" in a public place. Though you could try to argue that your car is not a public place, you would still likely be cited for exposing yourself on a public roadway, and have to explain yourself in court.

So before you drop the top behind the wheel, it's probably best to check your state's indecent exposure laws. And if you do get pulled over for driving topless, remember our tips on what to do during a traffic stop -- and that an experienced lawyer is just a click or a phone call away.

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