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50 Strangest State Laws In America (Part One)

Did you know about these strange laws? 

Our beloved Constitution ensures that states all over this great land retain the right to enact laws that are outside the purvey of the federal government. This has allowed laws to vary wildly depending on the state, town, or county.

And when we say wildly, we mean it as some of the laws that remain on the books in every state can be seen (certainly from a 21st-century perspective) as outdated, strange, and even downright crazy.

In this first part of the 50 strangest state laws in America, we list 25 laws that, while some have a logic and reason behind them, most of them will have you scratching your head as to how they were signed into law in the first place.

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Photo by Suzanne Tucker from Shutterstock

1. You Can’t Drive While Blindfolded In Alabama

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘keep your eyes on the road,’ and in the Yellowhammer state that is quite literal as they have a law on their books that states it is illegal to wear a blindfold while driving. Why you would want to drive with a blindfold on certainly has us confused, but what is even more baffling, is why this law exists in the first place.

2. You Can’t Put An Animal In The Back Of An Open Vehicle In Alaska

The rules for carrying an animal in the back of your truck in Alaska are very specific. Apart from the fact it would be extremely cold for your, soon to be popsicle, pet, you’re allowed to keep them in the back of your pickup, only if the space is enclosed or has side and tail 46-inches high walls extending vertically from the floor.

3. Donkeys Can’t Sleep In Bathtubs In Arizona

This law was enacted way back in 1924 because of one very odd event. When a dam near Kingman collapsed causing a flash flood, a donkey was discovered drifting in floodwaters inside a bathtub. It turns out this particular donkey loved to sleep in a bathtub that had been abandoned outside on the owner’s property. This law was implemented because of the considerable expense it took to rescue the poor floating donkey.

4. You Can’t Honk Your Horn Near a Sandwich Shop After 9 pm In Arkansas

We can only assume that this law was put into place after some hungry car owner honks their displeasure after arriving at a sandwich shop one minute after 9 pm. The fact that most of the sandwich shops are closed in Arkansas by 9 pm Anyway, the hungry driver should have known better.

5. It’s Illegal To Whistle For a Lost Canary Before 7 am In California

Another time-specific and truly bizarre law and one we have NO idea why on earth it was implemented is in the city of Berkeley, California. If you happen to own a canary, and it happens to go missing before 7 am, if you put your lips together and blow, you’ll be breaking the law.

6. You Can’t Keep Your Couch On The Porch In Colorado

This is a strange law as we can’t work out the correlation between a couch and a porch when you discover why this law was put into place. After couches were reportedly being burned in bonfires around the University of Colorado in Boulder, this law was enacted. What the porch has to do with bonfires we have no idea. The only conclusion we have is it’s a typo and they meant to say ‘torch’ instead of ‘porch.’

7. Pickles Have To Bounce In Connecticut

This odd law goes back to 1948 when two men were arrested for actually trying to sell pickles accordingly “unfit for human consumption.” After the two men were arrested, fined, and the offending pickles were destroyed, lawmakers tried to come up with a test to ensure the pickles were edible. Officials finally settled on the pickle only being legitimate if it bounces.

8. You Can’t Sell Dog/Cat Hair In Delaware

We can only assume that this law was put in place to stop people from shaving their poor pets. But it is indeed against the law in Delaware for a person to knowingly or recklessly sells, barter, or offer for sale or barter, the fur or hair of domestic pets. Is the trade in pet hair that extensive???

9. Parking Fees Must Be Paid For An Animal In Florida

As they are considered vehicles like motorbikes, cars, trucks, etc. legal fees have to be paid for animal parking, including elephants, camels, and horses. You don’t want to return to your trusty steed to find a parking ticket stuck to its face. The reason this law was enacted goes back to the 1920s when the famous Ringling Bros. Circus decided to move its winter show operations to Florida.

10. You Can’t Live On a Boat For More Than 30 Days In Georgia

If you’ve ever dreamed of retiring and buying yourself a boat to live on while you sail the waterways of our great country, you will want to avoid the Peach State as according to state law, for some reason, it’s forbidden to live on a boat for more than a month.

11. It’s Illegal To Put a Coin In Your Ear In Hawaii

Everyone remembers the magic trick where you produce a coin from a child’s ear, right? Well, not if you live in Rainbow State. This strange law was enacted when Hawaii officially joined the United States in 1900 as a way to protect the Kingdom of Hawaii coinage. How many coins they thought people could hide in their ears, we don’t know. Do people in Hawaii have massive ears?

12. You Can’t Sweep Trash Into The Street In Idaho

It would seem that the Gem State prides itself on being sparkling and clean as the law states that nobody is allowed to sweep debris onto streets, highways, alleys, or any road used for public travel. It’s always good to brush up on the law before entering Idaho it would seem.

13. Culinary Students Have To Spit Out Their Booze In Illinois

There’s a certain logic behind this law that you must be +21 years old to drink alcohol in the state of Illinois. However, if you are a culinary student, part of your training is to learn which wines complement which dishes. Nicknamed “Sip and Spit,” you can taste the wine but you can’t swallow it.

14. You Can’t Speed On Your Horse In Indiana

This might be a hard law to not break as the last time we checked horses don’t come with their speedometer. This law was enacted because of people having high-speed horse races through the streets of Hoosier State. So, now if you ride your horse over 10mph, you’ll be breaking the law.

15. Throwing Bricks On Highways In Iowa Is Illegal

When it comes to laws being written in stone, it’s quite literal in the Corn State. While it should be obvious that throwing a brick or any other “dangerous instruments or toys,” onto a highway, street, or any public ground, is a stupid thing to do. You CAN do it if you get written permission from the City Council. Why you would want to and why they would permit you to is anyone’s guess.

16. No Tire Screeching In Kansas

If you’d like to get your motor running and get out on the highway, you better make sure you’re as quiet as a mouse in the Sunflower State. If you are found to have tires that screech you’ll be a disturber of the peace and get yourself a fine for your noisy tires.

17. Women Can’t Marry The Same Man Four Times In Kansas

When it comes to getting married in the Bluegrass State, you’d better hope that the third time is the charm as women can’t marry the same man four times. To be honest, if you have to walk up the aisle with the same man four times, maybe he’s not for you after all.

18. You Can’t Send a Surprise Pizza In Louisiana

If you’re planning to live in the Pelican State and want to order a delicious pizza, you’d better double-check and triple-check the address you give to the pizzeria when phoning them. Why? Because if that pizza is sent to the wrong address, not only is that considered harassment, but it can also land you a $500 fine. That is one expensive pizza!

19. You Can’t Park In Front Of a Dunkin’ Donuts In Maine

If you thought Dunkin’ Donuts was popular in your state, it’s nothing compared to how popular the coffee and donut chain is in Pine Tree State. So popular is the chain in the town of South Berwick, Maine, that a law had to be passed to stop people parking out front as it was causing major traffic jams.

20. You Can’t Wear a Sleeveless Shirt In Maryland’s Public Parks

If you’re a fan of muscle tees and you find yourself in a public park in the Free State, it’s not going to feel so free if that park is in Baltimore. If you are wearing a sleeveless shirt it is considered a violation of park rules and could see you getting a $10 fine for exposing your upper arms.

21. In Massachusetts You Have To Be a Certified Fortune Teller

If you want to look into your crystal ball in the Pilgrim State you’ll not only need a license to do so but you also must be a resident of the state for at least one year before you can submit your application. Although this law was put into place to stop psychics from getting their palms crossed with silver by giving you false predictions, we find it baffling that it’s ok to lie to someone about their future just because you have a certificate.

22. You Can’t Sell a Vehicle On Sunday In Michigan

We know America takes their religion very seriously, but if you happen to live in the Great Lake State there’s a real driving force behind ensuring you spend more quality time with family, friends, or at church. Ever since 1953, it has been unlawful to sell, trade, or buy motor vehicles on a Sunday. It’s what Jesus would have wanted…..

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Photo by njnightsky from Shutterstock

23. You Can’t Have Dirty Tires In Minnesota

If you want to go for a picturesque drive through the lovely North Star State, you better make sure that the tires on your vehicle are spick and span as the state doesn’t look too kindly on dirty tires. If your filthy wheels deposit mud, dirt, or other substances on a street or highway it is considered a public nuisance.

24. You Can’t Enforce Nutrition Labels In Mississippi

If you are wanting to watch your weight and count those calories, then you’re out of luck if you happen to visit a restaurant in the Hospitality State. There it is inhospitable to force restaurants to include nutrition information or calorie counts on menus. Enacted in 2013, the same bill, also known as the Anti-Bloomberg Bill, bans any restaurants in the state from limiting portion sizes. So if you are on a diet, maybe avoid Mississippi.

25. Bear Wrestling Is Banned In Missouri

As animal lovers, we love this law and it’s sad that it even needs to exist. If you happen to live in the Show Me State you better not be looking for bears wrestling each other. This law was initiated due to several animal cruelty violations over the years, so if you want to wrestle bears in Missouri, they better be of the stuffed variety.

If you’d like to check out part two then click —>HERE<—

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