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Examining Some Of Maryland’s Funny Laws

Written by Zach Sparks | January 06, 2016

Have you ever sold a dog or cat under the age of 8 weeks without including its mother in the exchange? Have you abandoned a grocery cart on a street or in an alley? If so, you were committing a crime in Maryland.

Using the State’s Attorney’s Office website and the Maryland General Assembly website, we compiled a list of laws – some strange and some just useful – that can easily trip up the average law-abiding citizen.

Child Supervision

If you’re looking for a babysitter to watch a child under the age of 8, make sure that person is at least 13 years old. Otherwise, you could serve up to 30 days in jail or pay a $500 fine according to Family Law Section 5-801.

Animal Prizes

Remember that goldfish you won at the county fair? Unless the gift was first approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, or the animal was intended for slaughter or conservation purposes, that offering was illegal. Under Maryland Criminal Law 10-610, a person may not give away an animal as a prize or incentive to enter a contest. The result is a misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $500.

Sharing The Road

Although a bicycle should normally operate as close as possible to the right side of the road, it may be operated in the center lane when the shoulder is too narrow for a car and bicycle to travel side by side.

Leave That Shopping Cart

Notice that shopping cart that was so useful in your quest to obtain your daily intake of foods and drinks, and that stick of deodorant that is so essential to your hygiene? Well, if you take the cart with you or abandon it in a street or alley, you could face a $25 fine.

Red Light Means No … Texting

The law that prohibits texting while driving doesn’t stop just because your car does. Reading that text message while you wait for green to transition into yellow and then red is considered an offense. And, if you are under 18 and violate this law, your license can be suspended up to 90 days.

All Sales Are Not Created Equal

Are you looking to sell a dog or cat that is under 8 weeks of age? It must be accompanied by its mom or a statement by a veterinarian saying that the mom is incapacitated for humane or medical reasons and cannot care for the animal.

Stopping For Buses

Everyone knows that you are supposed to stop for a bus once you see the flashing red lights. But did you know that if you’re not at least 20 feet away, you could face a fine up to $1,000? Better to spend that money on something else, like that babysitter or the pet you couldn’t win at the county fair.

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