Can a person really be arrested for carrying three or more condoms? According to the rumor going around Washington D.C., yes, you can. Many bloggers have latched on to this new bit of information and ran with it, causing outrage and even a petition to prevent it from happening. The rumor stems from the Prostitution Free Zone law on the books of the Metropolitan Police Department. Unfortunately, there has been some confusion, exaggeration and elaboration about this rule.

The Prostitution Free Zone is intended to cut down on the shadier areas of D.C. that are prone to prostitution. Basically, if the police receive a high number of calls and/or make a high number of arrests regarding prostitution or prostitution related activities in an area of the city, the area will be declared a Prostitution Free Zone for at least ten days. The police will keep a closer eye on that area and if two or more people are suspected of prostitution, they will be asked to leave. This is their first chance to just leave with no trouble or issues. But, if the people do not leave, they can be arrested for suspicion of prostitution with no further warning.

The three condom rule confusion comes from the idea that carrying condoms can be an indication of prostitution to a police officer. Many people are concerned that if they are seen carrying condoms, they will instantly be arrested. It is not unreasonable for a person to be carrying three or more condoms if they are in a monogamous relationship. But, there should be no reason for an innocent person to fear arrest in a Prostitution Free Zone because there are actually no specific rules that say a person will be arrested for carrying three or more condoms. While cops may use the presence of condoms as an evidence of prostitution if they have already arrested someone, as long as you are not trying to solicit potential customers for sex, you should have no problem carrying condoms around in Washington D.C.