Even if you think you’re an expert driver, there are a few strange driving laws some states have on the books that almost nobody remembers. You never know – a cop might pull you over for one of these strange and unusual offenses at some point in the future! Here are some of the weirdest driving laws you’ll find in the United States.
To Drink Or Not To Drink
While it’s illegal to drive under the influence in any state, some states have extra rules and regulations when it comes to alcohol and cars. For example, in Michigan, a motorist under 21 can be charged with a “Zero Tolerance” OWI offense, meaning that any amount of alcohol in the motorist’s system, even if not influencing that person’s ability to operate a vehicle, can render charges. A similarly strict rule can be found in Rhode Island, where operating a vehicle with a beer in the car, even if the beer isn’t opened, can get you into legal trouble. There’s also a law in South Dakota that makes it possible for you to be arrested with a DUI, even if you were a passenger and not driving the car. South Dakota law states that a person who is in complete control of a vehicle can be charged with a DUI; this has led to several people a year being arrested while having their keys out of the ignition.
If you’re looking to hit a speed record, you’ll want to be careful where you do it. Several states have laws against causing your tires to screech or leaving marks on the pavement. The United States has 2.2 million miles of paved roads, and about 94% of them are surfaced with asphalt. While asphalt can be fixed, the intent behind these laws might to minimize damage to your own car. A truck engine might be designed to last for 1 million miles, but no amount of technology is going to save your car from physical damage. High speeds can sometimes generate enough heat to damage your vehicle; iron ore typically melts at 2,750 degrees, while steel typically has a melting point of 2,500 degrees. However, once you start writing laws against burning rubber, you might be taking it a bit far.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
Despite the U.S. being a secular country, there are a surprising amount of laws on the books against what you can and can’t do on Sundays. Between private-party and dealership sales, nearly 40 million used cars exchange hands each year, but you won’t find any of these sales happening in Indiana or Pennsylvania on Sunday. Additionally, while you can sell cars and drive in Colorado on Sundays, you’re not allowed to drive a black car – bad news for anyone who just purchased a black car in the state.
Nothing To See Here
There’s a surprising number of rules about what you’re allowed to do and not allowed to do in your car. Some states of laws about smoking in a moving car, leaving trash in your car, and even changing clothes in your car. Other odd rules about what you can do in or out of cars are the laws prohibiting people from looking into cars. In Massachusets, for example, pedestrians are not allowed to look inside of other cars, meaning you have the safety of privacy in your own vehicle within the state.
While not all of these driving laws will come up on a regular basis, it’s good to know about all the weird ways rules and regulations are there to keep you safe on the road. For example, in New Jersey, you’re required to submit a written accident report within 10 days of any car crash that resulted in injury or damage. It might not be weird, but it certainly is strict. What’s the weirdest driving law in your state or town?