Weird Laws in Idaho

Idaho is one of those quiet states we really don’t hear about much. In addition to being known for potatoes, Idaho also boasts upscale ski resorts, anti-government militias, and Yellowstone National Park. Idaho has the second largest Mormon population, eclipsed only by Utah. It also has one of the largest Basque populations outside of Europe.


Idaho grows about a third of all the potatoes produced in the U.S., approximately 27 billion spuds. That’s a lot of potato chips. The largest potato chip in the world is on display in Blackfoot. Measuring 25” x 14”, the record breaking chip weighs 5 ½ ounces, and contains 920 calories. That is equal to about 80 Pringles. With potatoes being one of the largest sources of income to the state, it’s easy to see why a law was passed that anyone caught selling a rotten or damaged Idaho potato can be imprisoned for up to six months. And as a further punishment, they’ll have the offender peeling potatoes in the prison kitchen for the duration.


Idaho potatoes


A lesser known fact, but as economically important, is that Idaho is the world’s largest producer of lentils. Moscow, ID., is called the Lentil Capital of the World. It’s also the home to the largest hops farm in the world.  The farm is owned by Anhauser-Busch.


Among Idaho’s major tourist destinations is the town of Wallace with its Sierra Silver Mine Tour and the Oasis Bordello Museum, which was last used as a hotel in 1988. In 2004, Ron Garitone, then mayor of Wallace, ID., proclaimed the town to be the “Center of the Universeand even had a manhole cover painted to commemorate the designation. Not to be outdone, the city of Rigby calls itself the Birthplace of Television, because it was the childhood home of Philo Farnsworth, the acknowledged inventor of television.


If you have a hankering to visit Heaven’s Gate Lookout, the only way to get there is by way of Seven Devils Campground. Hell’s Canyon in Idaho boasts the deepest gorge in the country at 7900 feet, making it even deeper than the Grand Canyon. Evidently, there’s a lot of Heaven and Hell in Idaho.


Idaho was home to the first alpine chairlift which opened in Sun Valley in 1936 and cost twenty-five cents to ride.


Idaho is no different from the rest of the states, however, with its own set of really weird laws.
Let’s take a look at some of these weird laws in Idaho:
It is against the law in Idaho to fish while seated on the back of a giraffe or camel. However, there’s nothing to prohibit fishing while seated on a rhino. Well, except for the rhino maybe.


If a police officer is approaching a car in which the occupants are having sex, he needs to let them know he’s there. He does this by either honking his horn or flashing his lights. After performing the required procedures, he has to wait for three additional minutes before approaching the car. Three minutes is usually more than enough time for most guys anyway.


On the other hand, public displays of affection are not permitted to last longer than 18 minutes. In other words, get a room.


weird laws in idaho


It is against the law to ride a merry-go-round on Sundays. You never know when those carousel horses might turn into the Four Horses of the Apocalypse if ridden on the Sabbath.


Bicycles are prohibited from tennis courts. I can’t even begin to imagine what the explanation is for that.


Do not sweep dirt from your house onto the street or you could be arrested. Keep your dirt and your dirty laundry in your own home.


Listed in the “Mayhem” section of the Idaho State Codes, cannibalism is permitted if it is necessary for survival. It is still prohibited, however, even if you really, really, really have the munchies.


Using a helicopter or an Internet-controlled remote to hunt is against the law. Hunting with your Wii remote in the Deer Hunter game on your Nintendo is still permitted.


Pocatello – Only dogs can live in dog houses. The exception is when your wife kicks you out for coming home drunk again.

Sidewalk camping - weird laws

People are not permitted to camp on sidewalks. No camping on sidewalks. No living in dog houses. What kind of town is this that it needs to have such laws?


In 1912, the town fathers passed a weird law stating, “The carrying of concealed weapons is forbidden, unless some are exhibited to public view.” Most people want to carry concealed weapons so no one knows they’re armed. The only way to legally conceal carry in Idaho is to open carry which kind of defeats the purpose of concealment.


Smile. Or go to jail.  The law reads “It is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy and depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city’s reputation.” So put on a happy face. Or else. And, if you’re emo, you’d better move.


Tamarack – You cannot purchase onions after sundown. Garlic is ok, though, as the town fathers know they have a vampire problem in the area. And if you want to sell chickens after sunset, you need a special permit from the sheriff.


Laws in Idaho Falls


And finally, in Idaho Falls, you are forbidden to ride a motorcycle if you’re over the age of 88. And you’d better hope the oldster was not “grandfathered” as being exempt from the concealed weapon rule.