Several countries and their states have laws that come as a surprise to most people. Of course, state laws include all of the normal prohibitions against murder, theft, and so on, but some of them also include weird laws that just boggle your mind. We have combed the internet and official government websites for some of the most bizarre laws in existence today in the US.
Here are ten laws that are not only unusual but also likely to be difficult or impossible to implement.
1. Smell bombs are illegal in Alabama.
Anyone who grew up in the 1990s or earlier is likely to remember the childish prank of tossing stink bombs at pals or unsuspecting strangers. However, in Alabama, it is illegal to sell or use stink balls — or anything similar that purposefully emits a foul odour.
It is illegal to “sell, dispose of, give away, or use within the city or its police jurisdiction articles known as stink balls or funk balls or anything of like nature, by whatever name known or called, the purpose of which is to create disagreeable odours to the great discomfort of persons coming into contact therewith,” according to Code 1965, 41-60.
2. After 9 p.m., you can’t blow your horn near a sandwich restaurant in Arkansas.
According to one Arkansas statute, “no one shall blow the horn on a vehicle at any establishment where cold drinks or sandwiches are sold after 9:00 p.m.” It’s unknown how strictly this rule is implemented, but a cop would have to be in the right place at the right moment to properly enforce it. To be safe, avoid blasting your horn near any Subway locations after hours.
3. It is against the law in Delaware to whisper in church.
Whispering in a church is unlawful, according to legislation passed in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware since it disrupts the act of quiet worship.
While this legislation legally remains in effect, it would take an enraged churchgoer to call the cops on you for some quiet talking.
Masks or hoods that hide the face are not permitted to be worn in public in Florida.
According to Florida law, “no person or persons over the age of 16 shall enter or be or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, highway, or another public way in this state while wearing any mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer.”
4. It is illegal in Georgia to eat fried chicken with a knife and fork.
This Gainesville, Georgia rule, established in 1961 as a public relations stunt, expressly prohibits eating fried chicken with anything other than your hands. Although the “law” is rarely enforced and is rarely followed literally, one tourist was jailed in 2009 for eating her fried chicken with a knife and fork.
Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper allegedly told 91-year-old Ginny Dietrick that eating fried chicken, “a culinary delicacy holy to this town, this county, this state, the Southland, and this country,” with anything other than your fingers is against local code.
5. Tire screeching is prohibited in Kansas.
Residents of Kansas are not permitted to scream their tyres, since this has been regarded as a violation of the peace. According to the official legislation, “it is prohibited for any person or individuals, while driving a motor vehicle on the city’s streets or highways, to accelerate or speed the vehicle in such a manner or to round a corner in such a manner as to cause the tyres to scream.”
Your car’s tyres may scream if you slam on the brakes quickly enough or have to dodge something in the road. Though it’s impossible to say how strictly this rule is enforced, and possibly a police officer might let you off with a warning, in this case, it’s best to avoid screaming your tyres or speeding through this state.
6. Taking someone else’s crawfish may put you in jail in Louisiana.
Stealing someone else’s crawfish is prohibited under Louisiana law. According to the legislation, if the theft or quantity of crawfish taken is less than $500, you cannot be imprisoned for more than 6 months or fined more than $500. If a person steals more than $1,500 worth of crawfish, the criminal faces up to ten years in jail or a $3,000 fine.
7. In Maryland, it is illegal to swear in public.
Many people’s ordinary language includes “swear words.” However, it is unlawful in Rockville, Maryland, to cuss, swear, or use “obscene language” near any roadway, highway, or sidewalk where passers-by may hear you.
This misdemeanour offence carries a fine of approximately $100.
8. You cannot keep a pet rat in Montana.
It is illegal in Billings, Montana, to possess, produce, or sell rats unless the goal is to feed birds of prey or reptiles. Though it is legally unlawful to keep a pet rat, a police officer would have to be present in your house and witness your creature to execute the law.
9. If you have an STD, you cannot marry in Nebraska.
Anyone in Nebraska who has a venereal illness is not allowed to marry. This legislation exists to safeguard individuals from unwittingly marrying someone who has an STD; nevertheless, it is difficult to implement. In Nebraska, you do not need to provide your medical records or history when applying for a marriage licence; all you need is a photo ID and proof of age – no blood test is necessary.
10. Drunk bingo is illegal in North Carolina.
Alcohol is not permitted to be sold in authorised bingo halls in North Carolina. North Carolina statute 18B-308 makes it illegal to “drink or sell alcohol in any place where a bingo game is being played.” According to Raleigh Mag, the legislation was last officially amended more than 30 years ago.
Though drinking in a bingo venue, room, or hall is prohibited, we may infer that this prohibition would be impossible to police if the game took place in a private house.
Edited by Anupama Roy