By Kate Morgan, NewsCastic
Laws. Does anyone ever really like them? Usually not. Some times they’re very stupid.
But ever since King Hammurabi dropped his cuneiform code, and probably before that, humanity has been trying to govern humanity. We do some terrible things if we’re not kept in check. It’s kind of a necessary step when we consider how and why humans behave.
That said, laws are weird. Getting people to remember that your eye is worth as much as someone else’s eye is a difficult business.
These are the top ten weirdest in DFW.
You Cannot Own a Realistically Shaped . . . Phallus
But you won’t actually be prosecuted. (This law is actually very complicated.)
Until a ruling by the 5th Circut Court 2008, this law was applicable and enforceable statewide. That’s why in the past various oblong shaped items encased in plastic packaging were sold with stickers that identified them as “cake decorations.”
Now, while the law is still on the books until it is fully ruled as unconstitutional, you cannot be prosecuted for possession of a pleasure device in DFW.
But you can still actually be prosecuted for having one under the jurisdiction of the 13th circuit court if you travel to Corpus Christi.
In Fort Worth, You May Only Have One Garage Sale Sign. It Must Be Placed on Your Own Property
This law was passed because people create a lot of trash that they never clean up and to prevent eyesores. But basically, you can only have one sign, it can only be two square feet in size.
You’ll also want to prominently display your permit that you obtain 72 hours before the sale. Bummer if you’re a last-minute kind of person.
In Irving, You Can Only Publicly Smoke Indoors In One of Nine Specific Buildings
This law is the inevitable result of trying to pass a common-sense “let’s not give people unnecessary cancer ban” and a mayor’s quest to challenge the constitutionality of doing that for the sake of something she thinks is liberty.
Several individual proprietors and a bingo hall also believed in this initiative enough to buy ventilation systems just to make it possible.
No Parking of Two Vehicles that have Signage that Make Them Look Like Work Vehicles Near a Residence
If you’ve had more than one car detailed or wrapped for to advertise your business, you can’t park it anywhere near your home where it’s visible. The only exception is picking up passengers or loading/unloading.
And if You Buy That Car in Richardson, Forget about Doing a U-Turn to Get Home
You’ll owe the City of Richardson $185 if you make a U-Turn or an improper turn. That’s a lot of money just to get going the right direction.
In Fort Worth, you Might Get Ticketed if You Don’t Use Your Parking Brake Every Time You Park On a Residential Street
This is actually a Texas-wide law, but in 2013, a rash of enforcements affected the Trophy Club section of Fort Worth. Officials have noted it is very easy to notice whether or not someone’s parking brake is engaged from the street.
Your Strip Club May Be Permitted To Allow Full Nudity in Some Areas of DFW, But Only If It Doesn’t Serve Alcohol
It seems that this paradigm actually exists in most of the country, but it’s still a weird law. You can see it all, and drink it all if you bring it yourself, but if they’re serving alcohol, you’ll likely only see half the show. This way they avoid state oversight.
Efforts to regulate this process through permits seem to have stagnated in 2011.
But You Can Still Get Drunk if the Place You Want To Go Doesn’t Have Or Has Lost its Liquor License. That is if You bring Your Own Beer.
In Texas, many establishments that haven’t applied for, or have even lost their liquor license transition to allowing you to bring your own. Sometimes they charge an uncorking fee. Sometimes it’s simply being done to avoid being responsible for “overserving” customers. Municipalities are generally responsible for deciding whether or not BYOB establishments will be permitted within their borders.
But this is nowhere near as confusing as trying to navigate pockets of Tarrant and Dallas counties that are alternatingly “wet” and “dry.” If you want to get a drink at a restaurant in a dry county, you’ll have to apply for an annoying little thing called a “Unicard,” and carry it around with you.
In Fort Worth, You May Not Collectively Purchase Raw Milk With An Intent to Distribute it Within City Limits
Because the city of Fort Worth has declared that raw milk is a health risk, citizens can not band together to form a collective purchasing arrangement to have it transported into the city from the farm by a third party.
Families, can, of course, still drive to the farm and pick it up themselves. In December 2015, this law caused a lot of protest and controversy. A Hill Country dairy was fined $3,000 for selling its raw milk in this manner.
In Dallas, You Cannot Share Food With The Homeless Without Planning It Well in Advance
Humanitarianism isn’t easy in the City of Dallas. You’ve got to make it through the bureaucratic hoops first. You’ll have to, at least, provide hand sanitizer and follow food safety rules.
You’ll also have to announce your intent to the city in advance and have at least one person in your group who is versed in food safety procedure. This is less draconian that the prior law that required you to provide bathrooms and have a costly permit.