Laws are important. They help maintain order, and inform what we all grow up believing is, and is not, appropriate. Without laws, there would be no sense of what is right and wrong, at least in a way that is universal, and constant. Because of laws, we know that there are consequences to breaking them, and we act accordingly. But not every law is as enforced as some. Things like drug trafficking, fraud, and murder are among the most harshly punished offenses out there. But there are some laws that aren’t quite so serious.
Have you ever jaywalked because the next crosswalk is two blocks down? You are technically breaking laws, but you can be pretty confident that you aren’t going to be arrested and sent to jail for these tiny infractions.
Most laws have some kind of logical basis, but there are also some that are so completely out of left field, you wouldn’t even believe they exist. Here at 15 ridiculous laws that you probably don’t even know about, let alone follow.
No Surprise Pizza
Have you ever ordered a pizza, and sent it to an address other than your own? For example, what if you wanted to order food for your girlfriend, who you knew was having a get together. That would generally be considered a nice thing to do, but not according to the law in Louisiana. If the person you are sending a pizza to has no idea it is coming, and has not agreed to receive, and pay for it, beforehand, you could face a $500 fine, and up to 6 months in prison.
Do You Have a Permit For That Lipstick?
In an example of a conservative, and extremely outdated law, it is illegal in Morristown, Pennsylvania for women to wear makeup unless they have a permit to do so. That means no red lipstick, no mascara, and definitely no eye shadow. With the enormous popularity of cosmetic brands like MAC, and department stores full of makeup products, like Sephora, there is no way this law is enforced.
Well, Strip Poker is Out
In Schulter, Oklahoma no woman is allowed to gamble in the nude, in lingerie, or wearing a towel. While this may be reasonable (kind of) if you are in an actual casino, what about in the comfort, and privacy of someone’s home? It kind of falls under the category of, as long as you are discreet, go nuts. But there is always that one party pooper that nixes strip poker because of the “legal ramifications”.
During Mardi Gras a lot of seemingly innocent things become illegal, like running, bringing your pet to a parade, and throwing confetti. Most things are for the safety of everyone during big public events. But in Mobile, Alabama, throwing confetti is illegal all year round. Apparently, the small confetti pieces are a breathing hazard. People would inhale the confetti, which would get stuck in their windpipes, causing distress. Throwing confetti at any time could land you with a $16 fine, so do so at your own risk.
Watch Your Step
In Thailand, it is illegal to step on money. Buddhists (much of Thailand’s population) consider feet the dirtiest part of the body, and their money has the king’s face on it, so touching their money with your feet is seen as extremely disrespectful. If you happen to step on a bill by accident, they might let it slide. But don’t intentionally kick a coin around in the dirt, unless you want to spend the night in a jail cell.
Limited Sex Toy Allowance
Under the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act in Alabama, it is illegal to sell sex toys. If you are caught distributing them you could face a $10,000 fine, and up to 10 years in prison. Exemptions exist for “bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purposes,” whatever that means. Also, in Arizona, it is illegal to keep more than two vibrators in your house at a time.
Move On Already
In Kentucky, it is illegal to marry the same man more than three times. Sounds reasonable, but why was the law even written in the first place? Was there an epidemic of people getting divorced and remarried four times that had to be stopped? If you have already divorced the guy three times, there was a reason, so suck it up and accept that it is never going to work. Kentucky will not let you make that mistake a fourth time, so take that as a sign.
Keep the Peace
In New York City, you could get stuck with a $350 ticket if your uncontrollable road rage, and hatred of traffic and pedestrians, leads you to honking your horn while driving. The only exception is in the event of an emergency. If you have ever been to NYC, you know that this law is all but ignored, since tickets are rarely given out. But, remember your horn is meant to be used as a safety measure, not to figuratively give the finger to someone who cut you off.
While training your dog is possible, and necessary, it is pretty hard to keep your dog from barking after a certain time. Yet in Little Rock, Arkansas, it is against the law for a dog to bark after 6pm. The town may be trying to keep the noise level down in the neighbourhood, but how exactly are pet owners supposed to explain to their dog that they will end up with a hefty fine if they dare to bark after 6pm?
No Dancing While Under the Influence
In Delaware, it is illegal for a bar to serve alcohol if there is dancing occurring on the premises at the same time. Kind of a bummer for people who only enjoy dancing once they’ve had a couple drinks. How do they prevent spontaneous dance numbers in the middle of a bar that never intended to have a dance floor? Dancing and alcohol are just two things that go hand in hand, it’s inevitable.
Put Some Clothes On!
In Florida, it is considered an offense to shower in the nude. The question is, how else would you shower? And how is anyone going to know if you are showering naked in the privacy of your own home? The logic behind this one isn’t apparent, and pretty much everyone breaks the law every day. How are you supposed to clean yourself if you are wearing clothes?
In Pocatello, Idaho it is technically illegal to be seen in public without a smile on your face. It is no longer enforced, but it is still an existing law. There was a time when being grouchy in public was something you could get fined for. While we appreciate the attempt at creating a cheerful atmosphere, forcing people to smile probably had the opposite effect. You probably won’t be punished for your frown these days, but just to be safe, if you are having a bad day, make sure to either stay home, or plaster a fake grin on your face.
Pull Up Your Pants
Belts must be a big seller in Collinsville, Illinois since it is illegal to wear saggy pants in public. The law actually states, “Pants are required to be secured at the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than 3 inches below the hips; causing exposure to the person or the person’s undergarments.” If you are caught with your pants falling down, you could be fined $100 and sentenced to community service. A repeat offense could lead to a $300 fine, and more community service. Consider whether that particular fashion choice is worth it.
Although definitely no longer enforced, it is still illegal for a man and woman to live together, and engage in “lewd acts” in Florida. According to Florida Statute 798.02- Lewd and lascivious behavior “if any man and woman, not married to each other, lewdly associate and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree and face penalties of $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.” The cops would be swamped if they had to go around handing out tickets for breaking this law.
In Massachusetts, snoring is illegal unless you have your windows closed and locked securely. The real crime here is waking up other people who aren’t even in the same house as you with your loud snoring. If that is something that happens to you regularly, you need to see a doctor, because something is seriously wrong.