Charlotte, NC

9 of Charlotte, NC's strangest laws

Ash Jurberg

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I am currently planning my first trip to Charlotte. Along with looking at all the great things to see and do in Charlotte, I like to do a little additional research to give me an insight into the city I will be visiting.

And one way of learning a little more about a city and a state is to find out what weird and wonderful laws exist. So I have been doing my research on Charlotte and wish to share nine crazy Charlotte laws that you really need to know about.

1. It is illegal to use an elephant to plow a field. I wonder how many people were actually using elephants to do this that lawmakers felt there was a need to ban it. I guess elephants are strong and could probably do the work quickly.

2. Are you a fan of bingo? If so, make you start a timer when you commence a bingo game. It is illegal in Charlotte for a bingo game to last longer than five hours. There is one exception to the rule: if the bingo game occurs at a fair, there is no time limit. To be honest, anything over 30 minutes is quite a slow bingo game.

3. Fancy yourself at karaoke? Well then, you better make sure you are a good singer, as it is illegal to sing offkey. This weird law dates originated in the 19th century when a North Caroline man was fined for singing loudly and poorly. Of course, it related more to disturbing the peace- but still, with my singing skills, I wouldn't want to risk it!

4. If you want to stay in a hotel room you need to be married. The North Carolina General Statute Section 14-186 states that "Any man and woman found occupying the same bedroom in any hotel, public inn or boarding house for any immoral purpose… shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

5. I was surprised when I learned that there is no Happy Hour on drinks in North Carolina. This is because North Carolina's Alcohol Beverage Control Commission compels restaurants to sell the drink for a period of time greater than one full business day. Therefore, a happy hour offering half-price drinks from 4 pm to 5 pm would be illegal as the special needs to last 24 hours. A Happy 24 hours? Now that I like!

6. In Charlotte, women are supposed to have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times.

7. Have you always wanted to have 1000 pounds of grease? If you have, better make sure you purchase it as the law states; you cannot take a container of kitchen grease waste without consent. It considers this a Class H felony.

8. The entire state of North Carolina prohibits any professional psychic or fortune teller. However, it does allow amateur or novice fortune tellers and psychics. So if you want to practice this 'skill,' don't ever claim to be professional.

9. Ok, this one is strange. You must pay taxes on any illicit drugs you sell. This is due to the fact that an excise tax levy applies to all controlled substances. If you are interested, the tax rate for marijuana stems and stalks is 40c per gram; cocaine is $50 per gram. The tax rate is considerably higher for schedule one drug at $200 per gram. I wonder how many drug dealers are filing their taxes correctly? I guess Al Capone went down for tax evasion, so it could be one way of arresting drug dealers!

So, readers of Charlotte, how many of these laws have you inadvertently broken?

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