Strangest Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina, like every other state, has a set of laws in its Constitution that seem so bizarre you wonder how they made it through the state congress or city councils in the state.

For instance, illegal drug dealers must pay taxes on any controlled substance they sell and in the city of Dunn, it is prohibited to drive in a cemetery for pleasure.

After scouring the North Carolina Constitution and the internet, we managed to come up with the following list of eight peculiar laws from the state of North Carolina.

1. Camping in graveyards is illegal

I don’t know why anyone would want to do this, but apparently there are people whose idea of a good time is relaxing in a cemetary. The state legislature decided to put a stop to this worrying, new trend by banning any hunting, picnicking, playing, romping, camping, and lying full length or sitting on the ground within the confine of a cemetary.

2. The tax on hard drugs

In an effort to curb drug trafficking in the state, the NC legislature decided to put a levy on controlled substances possessed, either actually or constructively, by dealers at the following rates; 

  • 40¢ for each gram, or fraction thereof, of harvested marijuana stems and stalks that have been separated from and are not mixed with any other parts of the marijuana plant.
  • $50 for each gram, or fraction thereof, of cocaine.
  • $200 for each gram, or fraction thereof, of any other controlled substance that is sold by weight.

3. Stealing kitchen grease is a Class H felony

According to this NC law, It is illegal to steal kitchen grease from someone’s kitchen. The law states that “It is illegal to take and carry away, or aid in taking or carrying away, any waste kitchen grease container or the waste kitchen grease contained therein, which container bears a notice that unauthorized removal is prohibited without written consent of the owner of the container.”

If the value of the waste kitchen grease container is more than $1,000, the crime is considered a Class H felony and is punishable by 4 to 25 months in prison.

4. You can’t play a game of high or low stakes pool in a bar.

Any person who owns an establishment that serves alcoholic drinks is not allowed to “knowingly suffer any game, at which money or property, or anything of value, is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, to be played in any such house, or in any part of the premises occupied therewith.” 

Anyone who violates this law will be arrested under a Class 2 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with the maximum penalty being 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. They would also risk losing their business license for a lifetime.

When starting a business in North Carolina, you need to understand the rules that the state imposes on businesses. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in  North Carolina and how to find a great registered agent in North Carolina can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or doing business in the state.

5. Singing off-key will get you in trouble

In the 1800s, a man called William Linkhaw, of Lumberton in Robenson County, was arrested for ‘disturbing the peace’ with his singing at the local Methodist Church. 

The North Carolina Supreme Court heard this case in 1873 and Linkhaw told the court that part of his duty to worship God was to sing and he did not intend to disturb the members. The judge, however, fined Russell a penny for ‘disturbing the peace,’ but he appealed the decision the next year and the court overturned the ruling.

6. Tax on white goods

White goods are electrical appliances that are used domestically such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines which are typically white in color. The state levies a privilege tax on white goods retailers at a flat rate for each new white good that is sold by the retailer. The rate of the privilege tax and the excise tax is $3 respectively.

7. A marriage can be declared void if either party is physically impotent.

According to North Carolina law, “all marriages between any two persons either of whom is at the time physically impotent, or between persons either of whom is at the time incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding, shall be void.

8. A game of Bingo must last approximately five hours

Article 37 of the 2014 North Carolina General Statutes states that “The number of sessions of bingo conducted or sponsored by an exempt organization shall be limited to two sessions per week and such sessions must not exceed a period of five hours each per session. No two sessions of bingo shall be held within a 48-hour period of time.”

Sources

Fayetteville’s code Section 8-19

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 14. Criminal Law § 14-293

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 105. Taxation § 105-113.107.

2014 North Carolina General Statutes Article 16 – Larceny.

2010 North Carolina Code Article 5C – White Goods Disposal Tax.

2012 North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 51 – Marriage

Stupid Laws – North Carolina

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