Legislation & Law

Representation in court | International law | Residence permit

Going traveling this summer, and hoping to see parts of the world to which you've never been? There are countless positive benefits to travel, and experts will tell you it's one of the best things you can do for your overall happiness at any age.

However, you don't want an accidental ignorance of foreign laws to ruin that happiness by putting you behind bars. Never assume laws are the same as they are in your home state. Here are a few odd laws you may have to keep in mind.

You Can Be Fined for Eating on Church Steps

If you're in Florence, Italy, you could be fined if you're caught eating on the steps of a local church. Churches are highly revered, even by those who are not religious, in large part due to their historical significance. Don't pull out those snack bars in the courtyard, either, as the same rule applies. If you're visiting churches, eat your meals before or after the tour.

Don't Bring Sudafed and Vicks Inhalers to Japan

Japan has serious laws regarding stimulants and other drugs that are often considered common in the United States. Cold and allergy medicines you may use frequently at home are banned. This means both Sudafed and Vicks inhalers are not permissible.

Bring a Breathalyzer on That Romantic Trip to Paris

Paris is a romantic hotspot, but, if you're going to be drinking, make sure you have a breathalyzer in the vehicle. Whether or not you had that glass of wine with dinner, you have to have one on you, as all drivers do. If your rental car is pulled over and you can't produce one, even if you're stone sober, you could be fined as much as 11 Euros.

Jamaica Banned Marijuana

Jamaica has a reputation for marijuana use that, as it turns out, is incredibly unfair. Pot has been banned on the island, so don't go there expecting to smoke up. If that's the type of trip you're after, forget the tropical island and take a trip to the cold mountains of Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal.

Your Rights

Some of these laws - like always driving with a breathalyzer - are nothing you'd ever expect. As such, it's useful to know your rights if you're accused of breaking them, even accidentally!