Most states have some laws and codes that are head-scratchers. Most of them were placed into law years ago and are, honestly, just forgotten about. But that doesn’t mean they’re not still laws and law enforcement and the judiciary can still enforce them.
Utah has its own batch of weird or unique laws, from causing catastrophes to throwing snowballs. Here are 10 of Utah’s most strange and bizarre laws.
It is illegal to not drink low-quality milk
This one’s a bit tricky. The criminal code reads that it is illegal for buyers of milk to unfairly discriminate against milk distributors for any reason, particularly for the grade or quality of the milk. So make sure to down your daily dose of dairy, and don't be too choosy.
It is against the law to fish with crossbow
Unless you’re fishing for carp for some reason, you may not use a crossbow to catch any other species of fish. So hone your inner Robin Hood on some other occasion.
It is illegal to cause a catastrophe
Had a bad day and you want to just wreck something? Want to cause a catastrophe? Well, don’t expect to do so without criminal penalties. Criminal code 76-6-1 defines a catastrophe as “use of a weapon of mass destruction or explosion, fire, flood, avalanche, collapse of a building or other harmful or destructive force or substance that is not a weapon of mass destruction.”
Individuals may not possess beer in containers larger than two liters
This may seem like a really specific law, but think of what alcoholic containers are larger than two liters. That’s right, kegs. This is often referred to as the keg law and is a major source of contention with the Utah DABC. Unless you’re a distributor or wholesaler, stick with the bottles.
Throwing snowballs will result in a $50 fine
Scratch any snowball fight plans you had for the winter if you call Provo home. Throwing “any stone, stick snowball or missile” will earn you a $50 fine.
Women may not swear in Logan
Maybe try to make fetch happen, because if you’re a woman in Logan, that’s about as close as you’re getting to actually swearing.
Cyclists must keep at least one hand on the handlebars
Not only must cyclists keep at least one hand on their handlebars, but they cannot carry “more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed.”
Permit to modify the weather
This may sound silly, but it’s actually fairly relevant. You must have a permit to modify the weather; this includes seeding clouds. Cloud seeding is a fairly popular tool to help areas experiencing drought or to increase snowfall over ski resorts. But if you want to do it in Utah, you need a permit and approval by the Utah Board of Water Resources.
It’s illegal to interfere with or collect water flow
This is another deeply contentious issue with water rights advocates in Utah. You cannot interfere with the flow of water in any stream, ditch or lateral.
You also cannot collect or take any water out of turn. If you want to collect rainwater, you can only use up to two containers, as long as neither container holds more than 100 gallons. If you register with the Utah Division of Water Rights, feel free to collect up to 2,500 gallons, but not a drop more.
Husbands are responsible for the criminal acts that wives commit in their presence
This one definitely looks bad for Utah. If a married woman commits a crime in the presence of her husband, she is not actually guilty of a crime, but actually, the blame goes to her husband. This is likely not enforced well, but it's still there in the criminal code.