Weird Laws: Summer Vacation Edition

Most legal professionals generally feel like they have a good handle on the laws in the state(s) where they practice. However, even seasoned attorneys can find themselves caught unaware when it comes to some of the more obscure laws that are still on the books in municipalities and states across the country.

If you are planning a late summer vacation to soak up some sunshine in any of the following popular vacation spots, knowing about these weird laws might help keep you – and your traveling companions – out of trouble.

Carmel, California

If you will be visiting the picturesque town of Carmel, CA and plan to wear high heels while you are there, you need to get a (free) permit to do so from City Hall. The city’s municipal code bans shoes with more than 2 inches of heel height or with a base of less than one square inch, unless you obtain a permit.

Gainesville, Georgia

There are many reasons to visit Georgia this summer. However, if you plan to eat fried chicken in Gainesville, be aware that there’s a city ordinance making it a crime to eat fried chicken in any way except with one’s fingers. The good news is the law, which has been on the books since 1961, isn’t really enforced.

Reno, Nevada

There is plenty to do in and around Reno, NV, including visiting Lake Tahoe and trying your hand at games of chance in the casinos. If you visit downtown Reno, don’t sit down or lie down on the sidewalks! Doing so could result in misdemeanor charges against you; that’s not a souvenir you want to bring home from your vacation.

Arkansas (Statewide)

If your summer travels take you to, or through, the state of Arkansas, be aware that there is still a law on the books dating back to 1881 specifying how to correctly pronounce the state’s name (AR-kan-SAW). According to the law:

“It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final “s” silent, the “a” in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of “a” in “man” and the sounding of the terminal “s” is an innovation to be discouraged.” (A.C.A. § 1-4-105)

Collinsville, Illinois (Near St. Louis, MO)

The St. Louis arch is a popular landmark for tourists from around the world during the summer months. However, if you plan to visit nearby Collinsville, IL, be aware that the town passed an ordinance in 2011 prohibiting “saggy” pants on public property. People wearing pants not secured at the waist could face a fine up to $300 plus mandatory community service. (Good news for “saggy” pants wearers: local law enforcement does not enforce the laws.)

Turn to Special Counsel for Legal Staffing Needs

Wherever your summer travels take you, contact one of our recruiters when you return to explore new legal career opportunities or to meet your firm or company’s legal staffing needs.

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