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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
By Declan Peters
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