(Part V: Odd Laws in Colorado)
If you do a search on the Internet for strange laws in Colorado, there are a number of sites that rattle off any number of wacky laws. But don't believe everything you read online. Many of the weirdest, most ridiculous, or most outrageous laws you might stumble upon are either misreadings or misinterpretations of a statute or ordinance or are just completely made up.
Here is the truth behind some of the most popular odd Colorado laws found on the Internet:
Number 1: Is it really illegal to lend a vacuum to a next-door neighbor in Denver?
While this bizarre law shows up on many reputable (and disreputable) websites and was supposedly enacted to prevent the spread of mold and parasites like bed bugs, letting your next-door neighbor, or your friend down the street, or your distant cousin in the next state over, or anyone, really, borrow your vacuum cleaner in Colorado won't get you into any legal trouble.
There is no law - not in the state of Colorado, in any county, town, or municipality, or even on a federal level - that prohibits lending someone a vacuum.
Number 2: Is it really against the law to put furniture on your porch in the town of Boulder?
Boulder's municipal code, Section 5-4-16, makes it a crime to leave "upholstered furniture not manufactured for outdoor use," - such as reclining chairs, couches, or mattresses - outside in the yard or on a porch. However, this ban only applies to furniture that's clearly visible from the street, that's left out overnight, and only in certain parts of town.
This law only applies to "portions of the University Hill neighborhood bordered by Baseline Road on the south, Arapahoe Road on the north, Broadway on the east, and on the west by the western boundary lines of those properties located on the west side of Ninth Street."
What's more, this prohibition doesn't prevent someone from placing furniture outside to sell it, or to leave it for trash collection, or if someone is in the middle of moving. It's really just meant to make sure landlords keep from creating rotting eyesores on their property. For that reason, the authorities are supposed to give you notice and a chance to clean up the offending furniture before you're actually charged or fined for a crime.
Number 3: In Logan County, is it a crime for a man to kiss a sleeping woman?
While Logan County doesn't have any special or specific laws regarding kissing sleeping people, depending on the circumstances, kissing someone's "intimate parts" when they're "physically helpless" - meaning unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unable to indicate their consent - may be a sex crime in that county, and everywhere else in the state of Colorado, for that matter. C.R.S. § 18-4-401.
Whether it's a man kissing a woman, or a woman kissing a man, or any other combination, the genders of the people involved don't make a difference. C.R.S. § 18-3-408.
What strange laws have you heard about here in Colorado, or in other states? Keep an eye on our Colorado Law Blog for more odd law explanations and myth-busting!