If you’re planning a trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth or even to another theme park in Orlando, chances are you’ve done a bit of research and preparation already.
But, whether you’re heading to the Sunshine State for business or pleasure, there is some information that is truly critical to know — and could prevent you from getting into legal trouble, too! Make sure you’re aware of these 5 laws you need to know before you travel to Orlando.
Heading to Orlando soon? These are the Florida laws you might want to know ahead of your trip!
It’s Illegal to Stay in the Left Lane When Driving
If you have to do any driving during your time in Orlando, it’s probably a good call to brush up on the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel. And, if you plan on driving on any multi-lane streets, roads, or highways — stay out of the left lane.
You might be thinking, “What? I can’t drive in the left lane?” — but that’s not quite the case. According to Section 316.081(3), Florida Statutes require that drivers drive in the right-hand lanes to prevent impeding the flow of traffic resulting in dangerous driving situations. Drivers must not continue to drive a vehicle in the far left lane when being overtaken by a faster moving vehicle unless the driver is preparing for a left-hand turn at an intersection.
Failure to move from the far left lane can result in a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation. Ask any Floridian and they’ll tell you that the left lane is for passing only!
You Can’t Text and Drive
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t get caught using your cell phone behind the wheel in Orlando, either. Section 316.305 of the Florida Statutes, allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists that are texting and driving.
The statute goes on to say “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email, and instant message.” So, whether you’re texting, emailing, or typing in the title of that perfect Spotify playlist, you could be pulled over!
For your safety and the safety of everyone else around you — just put your phone down or use a hands-free method of communicating like speech-to-text.
You Need a License to Use Cannabis
With recreational marijuana being legalized in more states, you might be wondering whether or not you can consume cannabis on your trip to Orlando, and the short answer is — maybe.
Recreational marijuana is NOT legal in Florida, but medical marijuana is if you have a license for it.
According to Florida Statute 381.986, “marijuana is only legal in the state of Florida when a person has obtained a Medical Marijuana Use Authorization.” The same statute says, “Under Florida law, it’s illegal to consume marijuana for recreational purposes. This includes the consumption of marijuana that was obtained legally through someone with a medical marijuana card and then transferred to someone else.”
Florida does have reciprocal medical marijuana laws, though, so if you need to bring cannabis for medical purposes, it’s best to have proof of your prescription with you just in case. And while recreational marijuana is still illegal in Florida, the City of Orlando has decriminalized marijuana possession in small amounts.
It’s Illegal to “Breach the Peace”
Apparently, in Florida, it’s illegal to kill someone’s vibe. Florida Statute 877.03 states that it is a misdemeanor to “commit such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engage in brawling or fighting, or engage in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct.”
This law is pretty vague, but it’s probably just common human decency to be aware of others around you and avoid getting into fights. It might be hard to define what it means to “corrupt the public morals” but keep in mind that this law also includes brawling, and engaging in disorderly conduct. Let’s all just have a good time, man.
You Can’t Smoke or Vape in Most Public Places
In 1985, Florida enacted the Clean Air Act to “protect people from the health hazards of secondhand tobacco smoke and vapor.” This law prohibits smoking in most public and private businesses, including restaurants.
More recently, in 2019 the law was amended to ban vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace as well. There are a few exceptions to the Florida Clean Air Act including standalone bars, but keep in mind that the smoking laws may differ in Orlando from what you’re used to at home.
Don’t get caught by surprise on your trip to the Sunshine State by breaking any laws without realizing it — make sure you know about these laws before heading to Orlando! And, if you’re going to Orlando to visit Disney World, check out these other resources to help with your planning:
- The Planning Tips You Need to Know About Before Your Next Disney World Trip
- 11 Disney World Restaurants You Didn’t Realize Were STILL Closed
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Disney Genie+
- 10 Rides to AVOID in Disney World if You Struggle with Motion Sickness
- A Full List of Disney World’s Cancellation Policies
- 5 Places You Don’t Want to Walk After Dark in Disney World
- What to Do When Your Phone Dies in Disney World
Stay tuned to DFB for the latest travel news and tips to help you plan your next trip!
Did you know about any of these Florida laws? Let us know in the comments!