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Top 4 Weird Texas Driving Laws

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texas flag
Photo: Falkenpost

From roadside attractions like the Cadillac Ranch to the state’s countless scenic vistas, a drive through the Lone Star State is an unforgettable experience. But on your next Texas road trip, keep these wacky driving laws in mind so you don’t end up with an unwanted souvenir on your driving record.

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Alcohol awareness

beer - how to properly tailgate
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

If you’re cruising through Lubbock with a brew at arm’s length, be prepared for a ticket. According to Attorney at Law magazine, it doesn’t even matter if the drink is sealed — or has already been consumed by your passenger. That’s right, an intoxicated passenger counts as having “alcohol at arm’s length” in Lubbock. So if you’re stepping up and acting as a designated driver for your friends, keep your buddies in the back seat. Hey, if nothing else, maybe this weird law will save you from being puked on during the drive home from the bar.

Shimmying by on the shoulder

Texas Hill Country
Photo: Zereshk via CC

If you’ve ever driven down a two-lane country road, you’re familiar with this frustration — someone hits the brakes and stops to make a left-hand turn, bringing traffic to a standstill. Most states require you to wait until the driver completes the turn, but not Texas. The Lone Star State lets you squeeze by on the shoulder of the road during this situation. You can also move over to the shoulder to allow other drivers to pass you.

Where’s your windshield wiper?

Rain window windshield wet moisture condensation
Photo: The News Wheel

It’s perfectly reasonable to require windshield wipers on vehicles. However, Texas plays by its own rules — your vehicle is required to have windshield wipers, but not a windshield. While a windshield-less drive sounds like it could be an exhilarating experience, it’s all fun and games until a stray butterfly whacks you in the face at 70 mph.

Local law weirdness

Photo: Pixabay

Some cities have driving laws that you wouldn’t be able to predict. The city of Richardson doesn’t allow drivers to make u-turns, so make sure your navigation system’s maps are up to date before hitting the road in this Texas town. San Antonio imposes a $150 dollar fine for opening a car door while operating a vehicle, regardless of whether you’re at a full stop. And in Fort Worth, you’re legally required to crank the parking brake before you hop out of the car.

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Looking to laugh at some more weird driving laws? Check out our coverage of the weirdest Florida and Mississippi driving laws.