Bill's 'urine-free zones' would hit public urinators with stiff fines

Updated: Feb. 3, 2017 at 12:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state lawmaker is trying to crack down on people urinating or defecating in public by creating so-called "urine-free zones" in key gathering places.

State Rep. Gene Ward says House Bill 1595 would make it illegal to go to the bathroom on:

  • Public playgrounds and playground equipment
  • Public bus stops
  • Public park and ride facilities
  • Public parking garages, including structures and stairwells.

Ward, a Republican who represents Hawaii Kai, says he introduced the bill to protect public health.

"A person can be lying in their feces in a public stairwell and have an absolute constitutional right to do so, but the citizens walking over or through this public health hazard have no rights," he said, in a news release.

Under the bill, fines would range from $500 for a first offense to $2,000 if you're caught in the act three or more times.

The bill allows for fines to be waived if a person completes a court-approved drug, alcohol or mental health treatment program.

This isn't the only bill of its kind going before lawmakers this legislative session, and comes in the wake of increased concerns about people defecating or urinating in public. Last month, lawmakers raised concerns about people using a veterans memorial at the state Capitol building as an open latrine.

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