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AGO 1951 No. 86 - July 02, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

HIGHWAYS ‑- SALES OF GOODS ‑- PROHIBITED WITHOUT A PERMIT

Sales of merchandise along a state highway from boxes carried by the vendor or from pushcarts are prohibited by section 78, chapter 53, Laws of 1937, unless the vendor has a permit.

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                                                                     July 2, 1951

Honorable James E. Duree
Prosecuting Attorney, Pacific County
Raymond, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 86

Dear Sir:

            This is to acknowledge your letter of June 26, 1951, in which you ask the following question:

            "Does section 78, chapter 53, the laws of 1937, prohibit a minor from selling newspapers or vending ice cream from the shoulder carried box along the outside of the line of cars waiting to board the ferry running from Megler to Astoria?  The box is not a push cart but is carried around the neck of the minor by means of straps.  Also, would you please indicate in your letter, an opinion, whether or not it would be permissible for the minors to use a push cart from which to vend their supplies?"

            Our conclusion may be stated as follows:

            Sales of merchandise along a state highway from boxes carried by the vendor or from pushcarts are prohibited by section 78, chapter 53, Laws of 1937, unless the vendor has a permit.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Section 78, chapter 53, Laws of 1937 (Rem. Rev. Stat. § 6400-78) provides in part:

            "It shall be unlawful for any person to build, erect, establish, operate, maintain or conduct along and upon the right of way of any primary state highway any platform, box, stand or any other temporary or permanent device or structure used or to be used for the purpose of receiving, vending or delivering any milk, milk cans, vegetables, fruits, merchandise, produce or any other thing or commodity of any nature unless a permit therefor shall first have been obtained from the director of highways.  * * *"

            We feel the purpose of the above section was to prevent vendors from selling their wares along state highways in any manner unless granted a permit to do so.  We are aware that it is quite common for youngsters to sell newspapers, ice cream, and soft drinks to persons waiting for ferries.  In this connection we realize that these ferry users as well as the youngsters derive a benefit from this convenient service.

            However, we feel the language of the above statute which states:

            "* * * operate * * * any * * * box, stand or any other temporary or permanent device * * *"

            would include within its terms the use of boxes carried by the vendor or carts pushed along the side of the highway.  Had it been the intention of the legislature to exclude from the coverage of this section pushcarts or boxes carried by the vendor, it would have been a simple matter to have so provided.  Accordingly, we feel that section 78 quoted above was intended to include within its coverage the practices outlined herein.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

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