Tip: Reckless Nude Driving Apparently OK in Georgia

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I somehow came across a report last week discussing what sheriff's deputies and state troopers were doing in Ware County, Georgia, a rural county down near the Florida border, on the night of June 12 & 13.  Sure, they came across a meth user or two, but what caught my eye was a quote about the nude driver they stopped.  And then released.

From the report:

Detectives pulled over the nude driver in an unrelated incident [unrelated to the meth-using deer slayer they had previously arrested, that is].  He was
driving on Suwanee Chapel Road and was stopped because the car was
weaving in and out of its lane. Detectives released him after ordering
him to put his clothes on and advising him to keep them on.
"He gave no explanation … There is no law against driving naked so we
had to let him go," Royal said.

I think this is right — my research, at least, has uncovered no law in Georgia against driving naked.  Even the public indecency statute should not apply — that law provides that "[a] person commits the offense of public indecency when he or she performs any of the following acts in a public place . . . a lewd exposure [or a] lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity . . . ."  Ga. Code sec. 16-6-8(a) (other clearly inapplicable acts omitted).  Seems to me that driving naked is neither "lewd" (though I guess it depends how you do it) nor "in a public place."  True, driving itself is typically done in "public places," but unless your car is transparent I don't think this should constitute an "exposure" or "appearance."  Argue if you like, but clearly the Ware County authorities agree with this interpretation.

"Weaving in and out of [a] lane," though, clearly is prohibited, and at least in connection with unexplained nudity it seems like it might have been worth at least a little more investigation.  Apparently, though, the level of tolerance in rural Georgia for late-night reckless nude driving is significantly higher than I would have guessed.

You may want to make your vacation plans accordingly.

Link: Jacksonville.com