San Diego, CA

10 of San Diego's strangest laws

Ash Jurberg
Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

I have been to San Diego many times. It's my favorite city in the US, and if I could live in San Diego, I would.

But I have a confession to make on several occasions during my visits to San Diego; I have inadvertently broken the law. So I'll confess to them, but with the stipulation, I didn't know that I was breaking the law. And that's because San Diego is home to some bizarre and unusual laws.

So in the hope that I prevent any of you from breaking the law, here are ten super weird San Diego laws, you may not know about.

1. It is illegal to share cups in San Diego. Maybe that is smart with the precautions against COVID, but this law has been in place for some time. San Diego Mun. Code §44.010 states that it is unlawful to provide for common use or to use any common cup or glass.

2. If you are wearing high heels, you better measure the height. Any heel that is more than two inches in height and less than one square inch of bearing surface upon the City's public streets and sidewalks is prohibited. If you really must have heels more than 2 inches tall, then you will need to apply for a permit.

3. If you are looking for somewhere to crash, don't attempt to sleep in a pool or billiards hall. San Diego Mun. Code §6-2000 makes this illegal. I wonder if sleeping on a billiard table would be comfortable.

4. For those living in El Cajon, you will need to know that selling or distributing novelty lighters within the city of El Cajon is illegal. They define a novelty lighter as any lighter that appears to be toy-like or has lights or visual effects that may appeal to children.

5. If you find a mouse in your home, don't think about laying a mousetrap. You actually need a valid hunting permit in San Diego and all of California before setting a mousetrap. I wonder how many mouse hunters there are in San Diego?

6. In San Diego, is it illegal to go swimming in any lakes found in the city.

7. Better not leave those Christmas decorations up too long. Any Christmas lights in San Diego still up after February 2 will incur a $250 fine.

8. When the SDCCU Stadium reopens in Spring, be careful what you do in the car park when you are tailgating. The law states that it is forbidden to throw, discharge, or launch solid objects—such as footballs, baseballs, frisbees, and other items—as well as liquid substances in the parking lot. How can they ban throwing a football around?

9. In San Diego, it is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar. No word on whether the front seat is permitted for this activity. This makes as much sense as the Los Angeles law, making it a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle unless the target is a whale. But hunting whales, in general, is illegal so that law is very confusing!

10. Throughout all of California, it is illegal for a woman to drive while wearing a bathrobe. I wonder what caused this to be made into a law.

Still, California's strangest law is the one for the town of Chico, which states that detonating a nuclear device within Chico city limits results in a $500 fine. It seems a very lenient penalty for detonating a bomb.

So, how many of these San Diego laws have you broken? Better apply for those mouse hunting and high-heel permits!

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