Is Vomiting In Taxis Really A Crime?

There are of course many cultures which exist across the world, and each has their own set of laws which reflect the thought processes and values of said culture.

Even if something is not deemed to be a crime in many countries, it may very well be considered to be one in the country you are in now. It is good to be aware of which offenses are deemed to be misdemeanors or felonies.

For example, there are cases in which, due to drinking too much or feeling sick on the way to the hospital, you ask for a taxi and end up vomiting in it. This constitutes a breach of contract for non-compliance and violation of the trustee's duty of care as stipulated in Article 644 of the Civil Code. In addition, if seats or other parts of the interior are ruined, it could be a violation of Article 261 of the Criminal Code for property damage. If vomited in by a customer, a taxi must undergo special cleaning in order to completely remove the vomit and odor and this is a loss to the business. For that reason, it is normal to have to pay a ¥10,000 ~ ¥30,000 cleaning fee and compensation for damage. This fee is different depending on the time and day of the week (e.g., weekday vs. weekend, rush hour vs. non-rush hour). Even if you claim that it “was just an accident and couldn’t be helped,” there are still cases where you can be charged with property damage. Please be aware that in Japan, people who damage another person’s property or injures someone can be punished by up to 3 years in prison or pay a fine of up to ¥300,000.     

Of course, there is a chance that you will not billed for vomiting inside a taxi. However, it is best to assume that you will should it ever happen to you. In the event you are not asked to pay any compensation, it is important to recognize this as an act of good will from the other party.