10.29.22 – Local Today
Did your parents ever tell you it’s illegal to turn on the overhead lights in the car while driving? Well they lied. There is no specific law that prohibits you from driving in your vehicle with the interior lights on. But this is where our conversation takes a turn…because I’m going to insert the word technically.
See it is technically It is legal to drive in your car with the overhead lights on. But if that dome light, or any lights in your car, distract you, you’re breaking the law now. Distracted driving laws exist in virtually every state, and they represent a huge legal gray area. So many things can fall under the umbrella, you could be breaking the law while talking to someone in the back seat while driving, or while driving eat, or even look around from your windows. Everybody can technically be illegal. Which also means they can technically also be legal. Welcome to the American justice system.
So now is a good time to point out that I am (obviously) not a lawyer, have no legal training and none of this should be considered legal advice. You would have to be an idiot to present this internet content as evidence in court. Although it technically legal to do so.
There are quite a number of laws that are not very specific in Louisiana or have changed recently that have created some formality in a legal sense. Whether it’s new medical marijuana laws or a billionaire deciding to sell consumer-level flamethrowers, the limits of Louisiana’s written laws are constantly being tested.
So we researched some ideas that might be legal here and illegal elsewhere. Mixed in with some things you might think are illegal in Louisiana but aren’t. Then I added some weird stuff to make this list.
First of all, this isn’t actual legal advice. We will link to the information we’ve found on each of these scenarios. But know the person putting this list together is an idiot, and would never win in a court of law.
While a 1984 federal law set the nationally drinking age at 21, some states reserved some specific circumstances. Louisiana is one of those states. The 4 specific cutouts actually made it pretty easy for minors to drink in Louisiana.
Warning Other Drivers of a Cop or Speed Trap
Ever flash your lights at another car to warn them of a speed trap? Have a guilty conscious right away because you think you just broke the law? Turns out, you’re in the clear. Now that doesn’t mean they can’t find another reason to pull you over, but it shouldn’t be for warning other drivers.
Owning/Using a Flamethrower
With no federal law banning flamethrowers, Elon Musk went ahead and made some commercially available flamethrowers for the public. Louisiana doesn’t have a specific law banning them, but like almost everything, there are laws that are vague enough they could apply with some effort.
Louisianan has legalized medical marijuana, even in smokable form. Which means that you can legally buy weed in Louisiana, as long as you have a prescription.
You can dumpster dive in Louisiana, but you need to be aware of some things. Where the dumpster is, and who owns it, are two really important parts to the equation. So just make sure you’re educated on the dumpster you’re eyeing up before you jump in.
This one might be the biggest technicality on the whole list. Technically, going topless in Louisiana is legal. However, while there are no restrictions on male nipples, a female nipple cannot be exposed “to cause sexual arousal” by Louisiana law. So technically legal, but you have to be careful.
Having Brass Knuckles
This is a huge gray area…because there are deadly weapon laws in Louisiana, and brass knuckles are obviously a deadly weapon. But there are no specific laws to address them in the state. So technically they’re legal to purchase and own.
Turns out you can collect rainwater in Louisiana, you just have to do it a very specific way. If you don’t follow their exact specifications, you are breaking the law.
Recording a Conversation You’re Having
Can you record a conversation in Louisiana? Short answer, is yes. But as long as you’re part of the conversation. Louisiana is a “one party consent” state when it comes to recording conversations, whether on the phone or in-person. Not everyone has to know, but at least one person involved has to know they’re being recorded…which can be you.
Cutting the Tags Off Mattresses
You’ve seen the big scary warnings on mattresses before right? The ones that say you can’t cut them off or remove them without breaking the law. Turns out, those aren’t for you. The legal warning is actually for those selling the mattress.