Unless you're a saint, you probably do this 100 times or more a day. Little did we know that in Caldwell, you can actually be arrested for it. It happened this past week and now we're going to be REAL careful when we're out and about.
Idaho has some really strange laws. Often times you will see these go viral for being so random and strange. For example, in Idaho you can't live in a dog kennel unless you're a dog (no matter how expensive housing costs are) and if you're 89 years old you are banned from riding a motorcycle in Idaho Falls.
Right here in the Treasure Valley, there's a little known law that was being heavily discussed on a local Facebook group because of an arrest made and posted from Canyon County's Jail Roster.
Now, we don't know the context of the arrest and judging by the list of other charges, there is a WHOLE LOT to the story. HOWEVER: one charge stood out.
A local man was booked into the Canyon County Jail late last week for: using profane language and gestures!
Now, at first I thought that maybe this guy was getting thrown into jail for whipping out his private parts and "gesturing" them around. Nope...we aren't talking about indecent exposure at all.
In Caldwell it's illegal, more or less, to curse.
Are Caldwell Police Officers patrolling the streets with handcuffs and swear jars? Not even a little bit. If they feel, with their discretion, that your language is out of line in a public setting, however--you CAN be cited for disorderly conduct.
The Code states:
(1) It shall be unlawful for anyone to engage in disorderly conduct within the city limits of Caldwell. Every person is guilty of disorderly conduct when he:
A. Solicits anyone to engage in, or engages in, or procures, counsels or assists any person in engaging in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view, or in any place where there is present another person or persons who are offended or annoyed thereby; or
B. Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent behavior; or
C. Uses language, an utterance, or gesture, or engages in a display or act that is obscene, physically threatening or menacing, or done in a manner that is likely to inflict injury or incite an immediate breach of the peace; or
D. Makes noise that is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct, location, time of day or night, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances; or
E. Creates or maintains a hazardous or physically offensive condition; or
F. Accosts other persons in any public place or in any place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms; or
G. Loiters in, about or upon any street, alley or other public way or public place, or in any place open to the public, without lawful business and conducting himself in a lewd, wanton or lascivious manner in speech or behavior; or
H. Has in possession any instrument, tool or other implement for picking locks or pockets or any implement that is usually employed or that reasonably may be inferred to have been designed to be employed in the commission of any felony, misdemeanor or the violation of any ordinance, and who fails to account for the possession of same; or
I. Occupies, lodges or sleeps in any building, structure or place, whether public or private, or any automobile, truck, railroad car or other similar vehicles or equipment without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control thereof; or
J. Loiters, prowls or wanders upon the private property of another, without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupants thereof; or
K. Loiters or remains, without a legitimate reason, in or about a school, not having any reason or relationship involving custody of or responsibility for a student; or
L. Is in a public place and intoxicated at a level that presents a danger to that person or others or creates a disturbance of the peace; or
M. Maliciously and wilfully disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood, family or person, by loud or unusual noise, or by tumultuous or offensive conduct, or by threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight or fighting, or fires any gun or pistol; or
N. Enter another person's private property without permission to peer, peep or look through doors or windows of that property with the intent to intrude upon or interfere with a person's privacy, or within a public place, to peer, peep or look into an area where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and has taken steps to conceal themselves from the general public, such as a restroom, locker room, or changing room, without that person's consent and with the intent to invade that person's privacy; or
O. Excretes any form of human waste, including urine or feces, upon the ground, into a body of water, or upon anything attached or setting upon said surfaces within the city of Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho, except for toilet facilities used as receptacles for human waste.
(2) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment up to but not exceeding the maximum penalties set forth in Idaho Code section 50-302, as amended. Either or both such fine and imprisonment may be imposed. (Ord. 2759, 8-18-2008)
If you yell profanities and it might start an argument or if those profanities are "breaking" the peace...yep, you're guilty.
I'm sure the man with a list of charges (this just being one of them) had a LOT going on with the police officers last week however he must have really been screaming some expletives to be cited for this, too.
Have a naughty mouth? Sure you should keep it down no matter what but when you're in Caldwell...make sure you're just keeping it clean!
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