Five Weird Arizona Laws You Didn’t Know About

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Five Weird Arizona Laws You Didn’t Know About

Arizona is home to some incredible landscapes, people, history, and nature. But whether you live in Arizona or you’re just visiting, you’ll have to obey the laws. Most of our state’s laws are reasonable, but we still have a few that are outdated, silly, or sound a little off until you understand the reasoning. Here are five unusual state laws that you might not know about.

1: Horses Count As Cars

Wait, what? Okay, they are not technically classified as cars, but horse riders and horse-drawn carriages must follow the same road rules as motorists. The same laws apply to any other animal used as a means of transportation. So if you ride your donkey home from the bar drunk, you could still get a DUI, or if your carriage hits a pedestrian you could be held liable for their injuries. 

2: Don’t Touch That Cactus! 

It is not just because you might meet the pointy end of a spindle—the Saguaro Cactus is actually protected under Arizona law. These giant, slow-growing, beautiful cactus trees are not endangered or threatened. However, in Arizona, it is illegal to destroy, dig up, mutilate, collect, cut, harvest, or remove certain native plants without a permit. Essentially, if you hurt one of these cacti, you could be facing felony charges. 

3: You Can Forget Your Helmet, But Not Your Goggles

In Arizona, if you are over the age of 18 you do not need a helmet to ride your motorcycle. Wearing a helmet is still recommended, however, if you leave your goggles or protective eyewear at home you are breaking the law. The reason for this is that harsh winds or bugs flying in your eyes can impede your vision, making it dangerous to ride. 

4: No Feeding Garbage to Pigs

Pigs will eat anything, which made some people assume they could feed their garbage to their pigs. However, eating garbage can make pigs sick or expose them to unsanitary conditions. Not feeding trash to animals seems obvious to us today. But unfortunately, this practice was once so common that a law had to be put in place to keep people from feeding garbage to their pigs. 

5: No Spitting 

Spitting on sidewalks or the floors or walls of a public area, building, or railroad is considered dangerous to public health. In Arizona, it’s actually a crime. Spitting in public can land you with fines, especially if you get caught doing it more than once. 

If You Break the Law, You Need a Lawyer

Just because a law seems odd or silly, there can still be very real consequences if you break it. Fines for breaking ordinances (like spitting on the Metro Rail) can have serious consequences if you don’t pay them. And felony charges for a crime like digging up a protected cactus can have even worse consequences, including possible prison time.

So if you break the law, you need a good lawyer on your side. Todd Coolidge has over 25 years of experience practicing law in Arizona. As a certified criminal defense lawyer, he knows the ins and outs of the justice system and can help you navigate these complicated waters. If you are facing criminal charges, contact us today for a consultation on your case.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/30/24). Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash.