March 9, 2023
America is known for many things in the modern world – but its unique 50-state configuration means a great deal of its state lawmaking is often left down to a local level. This has led to some funny laws in the United States over the years – from the mildly dumb laws to the downright bizarre. While many of the weirdest laws in the US are no longer enforced (often existing as a result of fascinating historical context), they remain a surefire way to enhance your trivia knowledge!

Don’t Drive Blindfolded in Alabama

It’s illegal to drive blindfolded in the city of Alabama. But the law doesn’t stop there; it also says that drivers aren’t allowed to drive a car if they can’t see what’s in front or on the side of it.

Other weird laws in the US include:

  • You can’t wash your neighbour’s car without permission in Los Angeles
  • It’s illegal to drive while your dog is tethered to your car in Alaska
  • You can’t drive a car in reverse in public roads in Arizona
  • You’re not allowed to drive a black car on a Sunday in Denver, Colorado
  • It’s illegal to run out of gas in Youngstown, Ohio

Take a look at a state-by-state breakdown of weird traffic laws on this website.

Sip and Spit Only!

Despite the legal drinking age being 21 in four states in America, there is a strange loophole: students at a culinary school in Illinois can consume wine while under age if they spit it out.

It was argued that culinary students should know their wine well and that this would be an important factor in receiving a valuable education. So, the state passed the Sip and Spit law, allowing culinary students to taste the wine as long as they spit it out afterwards, so that they are able to understand this crucial area of their education.


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You Can’t Send Unsolicited Pizza

If in Louisiana, don’t try to send anyone a surprise pizza or you’ll have to pay heavily for this appalling gesture – a whole $500 fine is coming your way.

Criminals Can’t Protect Themselves From Bullet Wounds

If you’re found wearing a bulletproof vest while committing a crime in New Jersey, you will not only be charged with the crime but have to be charged additionally for trying to protect another person or yourself against bullet wounds.

Your Bingo Game Has A Time Limit

If you’re a bingo lover, you’ll hate to find out that a game cannot last more than five hours in North Carolina. It’s even worse if you like a little glass of wine while playing, because, in this state, it is illegal to be intoxicated while playing bingo.

No Sweets for Adults

If you’re over 14 years old you cannot trick-or-treat in Chesapeake City, Virginia. Adults involved in the trick-or-treating festivities must only be accompanying a child and not engaging in trick-or-treating themselves. However, the under 14s are not totally free from restrictions either and they will be subjected to an 8 pm curfew too. Happy Halloween!

You Need Permission For False Teeth

In Vermont, women must get written permission first from their husbands if they want to get false teeth. It’s an unenforced law but it hasn’t yet been overturned!

No Donkeys in Arizonian Bathtubs

This must be one of the strangest laws in the United States on our list. In the 1920s a home in Arizona was flooded whilst a donkey was asleep in a bathtub – it eventually filled up and flooded, while the animal was swept away! The townspeople were able to rescue the poor animal, but followed up soon after with a law intended to avoid such an occurrence becoming a repeat issue.

No Long-Haul Sailing in Georgia

The Peach State has a relatively recent law (established in 1992) to stop anyone from living on a boat for more than 30 days. The rule was intended to combat the existence of run-down housing on the Altamaha River – presumably deeming it an eyesore for tourism or an environmental hazard.

Horse Racing? Not in Indiana

The state of Indiana has a law limiting horse-based travel across state lines to 10mph. The law was passed in 1975 and essentially puts horses on par with motor vehicles. The reasons for enacting the rule are not entirely clear, but many have cited a public nuisance relating to horse racing in the area preceding the law’s introduction.

I Do (x3) – Marriages in Kentucky

Kentucky’s legislators have seemingly imposed a limit on love itself – no woman can marry the same man more than 3 times. Marriage is a complex area of law when it comes to bizarre rules across the US, in fact:

  • In Delaware, you can annul your marriage based on the fact it was the subject of a ‘jest or dare’
  • In Utah, first cousins may marry after the age of 65
  • In a number of US states (including California, Colorado, and Texas), it’s possible to marry by proxy (in other words, with only one of the pair attending in person) – this is another one with interesting historical context, as it was introduced with US army soldiers abroad in mind
  • In Connecticut, it’s illegal to kiss your spouse in public on a Sunday (tied to obvious religious connotations which might not sit too comfortably with PDA) – another silly law in Massachusetts similarly echoes religious sentiments regarding relationships, since it’s illegal to sleep naked in a hotel with a partner (even if married)

Cheat Days Incoming in Mississippi

In Mississippi, a 2013 ruling held that it was not possible to enforce restaurants having to disclose the nutritional aspects of their offerings (as is the case in many other US states). This forms part of the Anti-Bloomberg Bill, which also stops those restaurants from needing to limit their portion sizes. Find out more about the context of the bill. Perhaps not the best state to visit on a diet?

No Seaweed Collection in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, it is illegal to collect seaweed from public beaches (at night, specifically – do as you will during daylight hours). This was introduced as a result of seaweed’s relatively lucrative resale value in some contexts.

IQ Tests for Voting?

The state of New Mexico bans (and, no, this isn’t a made-up quote) ‘idiots’ from voting in elections. The blatantly problematic elements of such a piece of legislation mean it would be impossible to enforce.

No Hunting in Cemeteries

In Oregon, the case of a hunter harvesting animals on cemetery ground led to a law banning such activities on sacred soil. This weird law in the US feels morally obvious to many, but you have to wonder about the extent to which most members of the community would have this specific knowledge to be able to throw the book at someone.

No Pinball in South Carolina

If you’re under 18, the state of South Carolina won’t allow you to play pinball. It’s considered addictive and morally dangerous behaviour for some reason – a ‘status offence violation’ will be offered to you if you go ahead anyway.

Netflix Password Sharing? Not in Tennessee

Netflix have been in the news recently for attempting to clamp down on password sharing (which naturally eats into their profits – find out more about Netflix and the streaming wars). In 2011, though, a specific law had already been passed in Tennessee banning this exact action (although more targeted at hackers who harvest large quantities of passwords and then attempt to sell them on the dark web).

More Strange Laws

Enjoy learning about crazy laws in the United States? Don’t miss our blogs about the weirdest laws from around the world, and the strangest English laws.


By Declan Peters


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