Coloradans have never been afraid to think outside of the box. After all, Colorado was the first state to issue a license plate and the only state to reject an offer to host the Olympics.
What’s more, Coloradans invented the Teddy Bear, Jolly Ranchers, and Christmas lights!
Coloradans also have a history of thinking outside the box when it comes to passing legislation. Here are the 10 weirdest laws on the books in the Centennial State.
10 weirdest laws in Colorado
- Fortunately for drivers (and animals), it’s illegal to ride an animal on a highway while intoxicated in Colorado. (Colorado Revised Statute § 42-4-805(4)).
- It’s perfectly legal to sell tires and motor vehicle accessories on Sunday in Colorado, but it’s illegal to sell an actual motor vehicle on the first day of the week. (Colorado Revised Statute § 12-6-302).
- In the city of Aspen, it’s illegal to throw snowballs in public. (Aspen Code of Ordinances § 15.04.210)
- In the city of Alamosa, it’s illegal to “project a missile” at a vehicle, which seems like a good thing to prohibit. (Alamosa Code of Ordinances § 11-50)
- In the city of Pueblo, it’s illegal to allow a dandelion to grow more than 10 inches tall on your property. (Pueblo Code of Ordinances § 7-4-2).
- Ironically, it’s illegal to roll, throw, or otherwise move a boulder on any public property in Boulder. (Boulder Code of Ordinances § 5-4-8).
- It’s perfectly legal (though not recommended) to insult, taunt, or challenge a police officer in Boulder, but only until they ask you to stop. (Boulder Code of Ordinances § 5-3-6).
- In the most “Colorado” of Colorado laws, it’s illegal to ski while intoxicated in Vail. (Vail Town Code § 6-3H-9).
- It’s actually legal to “modify the weather” in Colorado so long as you have a permit. For years, Colorado ski resorts have paid private companies to burn silver iodide on the slopes to stimulate precipitation. (Code of Colorado Regulations § 401-1).
- You may want to dye your hair to express your individuality but keep the dye away from your dog. In Sterling, it’s illegal to dye a pet. (Sterling Code of Ordinances § 4-9).
How do weird bills actually become laws?
Many of the laws that seem strange today didn’t seem strange to people when they were written. In some cases, laws were passed to address certain issues in society that no longer exist (making the law seem strange or at least outdated).
Similarly, many of today’s seemingly random laws were intended to restrict certain Sunday activities in order to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest (i.e., “blue laws”).
Are weird laws enforceable?
Weird or outdated laws are often unenforced. However, if a strange law is on the books, it certainly can be enforced.
Just ask Patrick Neal Schumacher of Colorado Springs who was arrested near 14th Street and College Avenue when he was caught riding his horse while intoxicated. Patrick was carrying a pug in his backpack at the time, which, as far as we know, isn’t illegal.
Have you violated any of these unordinary ordinances?
Tell us about your experiences below.