While most American travelers are aware that tampering with, disabling, or destroying restroom smoke detectors is a violation of federal aviation law, a shocking new report from the US Department of Justice reveals that such behavior is similarly unlawful in ground-based restrooms as well.
“What a lot of folks don’t realize is that, once you step off an airplane, there are still a remarkable number of statutes in this country that render unprovoked dismantling of smoke detectors illegal,” a Justice Department spokesman said. “In fact, legal precedence has shown us time and time again that wanton destruction of any corporate property is really a no-go in this country,” he added. Consequently, many lawyers advise clients against maliciously breaking assets or equipment – whether cappuccino machines, photocopiers, or handicap-accessible elevators – in local places of business.
“If an American citizen enters a Dairy Queen and, without just cause, smashes the soda dispenser, then he or she has, in fact, committed a crime,” one excerpt of the Justice Department report read. “Sure, it might not come down to federal aviation law in this case, but that individual will still be arrested and charged. We need everyone to understand that.”
The federal report did confirm, however, that seatbelt legislation only applies in airplanes, and that seatbelt use is optional when utilizing non-aerial forms of transportation.