Strangest Laws in Utah

Your local librarian in the Mormon State yields more power than he/she lets on. Librarians have the legal right to detain you, on or off the premises of a library, if they suspect you of stealing a book. Also, if you plan on holding an auction within Salt Lake County, you must avoid hiring trombone players to advertise the event as it is forbidden by law.

These are just some of the many odd laws in the state of Utah that most law enforcement officers are not too keen on following. Some are too old and were just never changed, while others have been revised to fit with modern times.

1. It’s illegal to molest your pet, but it’s okay if animal services do it

In the city of Ogden, it is illegal to tease, annoy, disturb, molest or irritate an animal that is confined at your property. However, the law has an exception for animal services officers or law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their authority.

2. Two liters of beer is all you get

According to the Utah Code Title 32B, “a person may not purchase or possess beer in a container that exceeds two liters.” Also, it’s also illegal for any establishment or person to sell, offer for sale, or furnish beer to the general public in a container that exceeds two liters. 

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

3. It’s illegal to keep more than one cow

Back to the city of Ogden. The city’s municipal code prohibits city residents from keeping more than one cow in their properties. Any person who owns a cow must obtain a free permit from the County Health Department that is renewable on the 1st day of January every year.

4. No alcohol during an emergency

According to Utah code 32A-12-207, “During a period of emergency proclaimed by the governor to exist in an area of the state, it is unlawful for a person to sell, offer to sell, or otherwise furnish any alcoholic product in that area if the director of the department has publicly announced and directed that alcoholic products may not be sold, offered for sale, or otherwise furnished in that area during the period of emergency.”

5. Don’t participate in an ‘ultimate fighting match’

According to the law, an ‘ultimate fighting match’ refers to a live match in which no admission fee is charged and match rules permit professional contestants to use a combination of boxing, kicking, wrestling, hitting, punching, or other combative, contact techniques.

However, the final section of the edict goes on to state that anyone who publicizes, promotes, conducts, or engages in an ultimate fighting match is guilty of a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500.

6. It’s illegal to cause a catastrophe

A person is guilty of causing a catastrophe if he/she causes widespread injury or damage to persons or property through an explosion, fire, flood, avalanche, the collapse of a building, release of poison gas, radioactive material, or other harmful or destructive force or substance, or by any other means. Causing a catastrophe is a felony in the second degree if the person causes it knowingly and a class A misdemeanor if caused recklessly.

7. No discrimination against milk distributors

According to state law, “A person may not unfairly discriminate against any milk,  milk, cream, or butterfat distributors for the purpose of creating a monopoly or destroying the business of a competitor.” Whether or not that means it is illegal to not buy milk is not very clear.

8. Don’t hurl missiles at a bus

It is a third-degree felony (punishable by up to five years in jail, and a fine of as much as $5,000) for any person to discharge a firearm or hurl a missile at or into any bus. However, this law does not apply to elected or appointed peace officers or commercial security personnel who discharge firearms or hurl missiles in the course and scope of their employment.

Sources

Utah Code Title 32B. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act § 32B-4-406.
Utah Code Title 76. Utah Criminal Code § 76-6-105.
Ogden City Code 12-7-5: KEEPING ANIMAL PREMISES IN UNSANITARY CONDITION PROHIBITED
2006 Utah Code – 32A-12-207 — Unlawful sale or furnishing during emergency
2015 Utah Code 76-10-3005. Unfair discrimination by the buyer of milk, cream or butterfat
Utah Code 76-10-1505. Discharging firearms and hurling missiles into buses and terminals — Exception
Stupid Laws

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