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10 Odd Laws in Arizona You Should Know

Law evolves over time as society changes. However, some strange laws still remain on the books in many places, including Arizona. While not all remain enforced, a few of these unexpected regulations can leave you wondering how lawmakers passed them in the first place. Here are some of the most unusual rules in Arizona state, county, and city law.

To learn more about Arizona laws, speak to a Scottsdale criminal defense attorney.

#1: Effective Cacti Conservation

Some of Arizona’s most iconic plants are the diverse cacti that pepper our desert landscape. Arizona takes such pride in its cacti population that a person can face 25 years in prison for cutting one down. In particular, the endangered Saguaro cactus required extra protection after too many people shot or cut them down. In an effort to protect this state treasure, Arizonians passed a law to protect it.

#2: Leave Flags Alone

According to Arizona Law 13-3703, it is a class 2 misdemeanor to place a mark on a flag that could incite “physical retaliation.” You cannot draw any figure, picture, design, word, or advertisement on a flag that could be in public view. In addition, mutilating, defacing, or any other dishonorable act to a flag could result in a serious charge.

#3: Forget About Imitation Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug that people can easily confuse for sugar, flour, or any other white powder. However, creating imitation cocaine is a class 6 felony in Arizona, according to state law 13-3453. If you intend to manufacture, distribute, or possess imitation cocaine, you can face serious consequences from law enforcement. In addition, this law explicitly states that you cannot defend yourself by saying that you believed that the cocaine was real.

#4: Don’t Cross-Dress in Tucson

One city-specific law applies to people who do not dress in a manner “of his or her sex.” You cannot cross-dress in Tucson due to a bizarre and outdated city ordinance. A person can receive a charge for a misdemeanor offense if he or she wears opposite-gender clothes in Tucson – although it is unlikely that law enforcement officers keep a close eye on this law.

#5: Do Not Interfere With Crane Games

In the state of Arizona, it is illegal to rig crane games – the claw machines typically found in arcades and pizza places. While these games are difficult to win, manufacturers or machine owners cannot tamper with the machine to make it even more challenging to win a prize. In addition, you cannot misrepresent the value of crane game prizes.

#6: Arizona’s Official Neck Tie

Arizona is one of the only states, if not the only one in the country, to pass a law establishing an official piece of state neckwear. The Arizona Legislature passed a 1971 law declaring the Bolo tie the official neckwear of Arizona. Plenty of people sport this style throughout the state.

#7: The Stupid Motorist Law

Arizona has the only law in the country known as a “Stupid Motorist Law.” Passed in 1995, this statute says that any driver who willingly bypasses police-enforced barricades and becomes trapped is liable for emergency rescue costs. The purpose of this law is to deter risky driving behavior.

#8: Rev Your Engines

Street racing is risky behavior that many states choose to outlaw for the safety of residents. However, Arizona state laws actually allow street racing with authorization. As long as the landowner or jurisdiction officials approve the event, you can challenge anyone to a vehicle race.

#9: Animals Have Vehicle Rights

Arizona residents often ride horses and it’s common to see animals on the road. As a result, Arizona laws afford the same protections and rights to animals as motor vehicles. If you are riding an animal or a carriage pulled by animals, you must honor all traffic laws. In addition, it is illegal to spook a horse that someone is riding.

#10: Odd Motorcycle Regulations

Arizona also has a few strange laws related to motorcyclists. Anyone over the age of 18 does not have to use a helmet when riding a motorcycle. However, the state requires a motorcyclist to wear protective goggles or have a windshield instead. In addition, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle with high handlebars that cause your hands to rest above your shoulders.