Totally Boise Blog


What is the Craziest Law in Idaho?

Last updated May 31, 2023 by Totally Boise

You may consider yourself a dutiful, law-abiding citizen, but there’s a great possibility that you may have broken some of Idaho's craziest laws!

Yes, that's right - our state has some truly wild and wacky rules that are still technically on the books. But don't worry; your secret is safe with us.

While these laws may no longer be enforced in day-to-day life, they're worth exploring for a good chuckle and to see what our Idaho predecessors thought was important to regulate. So hold onto your seats, folks, and get ready to discover some of the craziest laws in Idaho.

Current Laws in Idaho You Won’t Believe Exist

  • Wallace residents, beware: it's illegal to make a dog kennel (or house) your home if you're not, in fact, a dog. Yep, that's right - no cozy dog houses for you, humans. We have to wonder who in Wallace was trying to pull this off in the first place.
  • And for all you motorcycle enthusiasts out there, be advised: if you're over 88 years old in Idaho Falls, you're not allowed to ride a motorcycle. It sounds nutty, but apparently, it's for your own safety. Who knew getting older could put a damper on your love of the open road?
  • And don't even think about riding a merry-go-round on a Sunday. Back in 1907, Idaho passed a law prohibiting certain Sunday activities in observance of the Christian Sabbath, and it's still technically on the books.
  • If you're going to sell potatoes in Idaho, you better make sure they're top-notch. Labeling a spud with rot, blemishes, or sun damage as "Idaho Deluxe" can land you in prison for up to six months. We take our potatoes seriously around here. (Title 22, Chapter 9)
  • In Pocatello, you're legally required to smile. Yep, you read that right. The "Smile Ordinance" was passed in 1948 after a harsh winter had everyone in town feeling down. Pocatello has since declared itself the "U.S. Smile Capital." So if you're feeling blue, just remember - it's the law to smile in Pocatello.
  • In Eagle, don't even think about sweeping dirt from your house into the street. It's illegal, and for a good reason - we don't want dirt and debris clogging up our storm drains and causing flooding. So grab a broom and a dustpan and put that dirt in the trash. (Title 5, Chapter 2)
  • We hate to break it to you, but fishing for trout from the back of an animal is also illegal. We know, we know - it's a bummer that you can't catch a big one from the back of your pet camel or giraffe. But we promise, there are plenty of other ways to catch a fish in Idaho.
  • And just in case you were wondering, cannibalism is also illegal in Idaho - unless it's necessary for survival. This law is rarely used in court, but it's there in case of another "Donner Party" situation. We hope we never have to rely on this law. (Title 18, Chapter 50)
  • Finally, if you're not blind, you better not be using a white and red cane. These canes are meant for visually impaired individuals as a mobility aid, and the law prohibits anyone from using them as a prop. (Title 18, Chapter 58)

Have You Broken the Law in Boise?

With wild and wacky laws like this, it must be a pretty unusual circumstance that led you to bend the rules. At Totally Boise, we're all about sharing stories about local businesses, events, attractions, and more.

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