If you ever find yourself thinking, “There oughtta be a law …,” you’re not alone. The truth is, there are lots of laws out there–and many of them can seem pretty silly and inconsequential. But they’re bona fide laws nonetheless that, when broken, carry some stiff penalties. Crazy, but true, these are some of the laws they DON’T teach you about in law school…
1. LAW: It is illegal to transport a skunk across state lines.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: Tennessee
CITATION: 70-4-208. Unlawful importation of skunks – Penalty.
ACTUAL:(a) It is unlawful for any person to import, possess, or cause to be imported into this state any type of live skunk, or to sell, barter, exchange or otherwise transfer any live skunk, except that the prohibitions of this section shall not apply to bona fide zoological parks and research institutions.
2. LAW: It is illegal to taunt someone for refusing to participate in a duel.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: West Virginia
CITATION: §61-2-24. Taunting for nonparticipation in duel; penalty.
ACTUAL:If any person post another, or in writing or in print use any reproachful or contemptuous language to or concerning another, for not fighting a duel, or for not sending or accepting a challenge, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in jail not more than six months, or fined not exceeding one hundred dollars.
3. LAW: There is a one-dollar fine for every instance of public drunkenness and/or swearing.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: West Virginia
CITATION: §61-8-15. Profane swearing and drunkenness; penalty.
ACTUAL: If any person arrived at the age of discretion profanely curse or swear or get drunk in public, he shall be fined by a justice one dollar for each offense.
4. LAW: It is illegal to require someone to purchase a horror comic book.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: California
CITATION: Cal Bus & Prof Code §16603 Requiring purchase of horror comic book as condition to sale or consignment of magazine or other publication.
ACTUAL: Every person who, as a condition to a sale or consignment of any magazine, book, or other publication requires that the purchaser or consignee purchase or receive for sale any horror comic book, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($ 1,000), or by both.
As used in this section “horror comic book” means any book or booklet in which an account of the commission or attempted commission of the crime of arson, assault with caustic chemicals, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, kidnapping, mayhem, murder, rape, robbery, theft, or voluntary manslaughter is set forth by means of a series of five or more drawings or photographs in sequence, which are accompanied by either narrative writing or words represented as spoken by a pictured character, whether such narrative words appear in balloons, captions or on or immediately adjacent to the photograph or drawing.
5. LAW: It is required by law that you make a loud noise when passing a car on the left.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: Rhode Island
CITATION: §31-15-4 Overtaking on left.
ACTUAL: The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules stated in this section:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give a timely, audible signal and shall pass to the left at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(2)Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of the front vehicle on the audible signal of the overtaking vehicle shall give way to the right, and shall not increase speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
6. LAW: It is illegal for a bingo game to last longer than five hours, unless the bingo is being played at a fair.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: North Carolina
CITATION: §14-309.8. Limit on sessions.
ACTUAL:The number of sessions of bingo conducted or sponsored by an exempt organization shall be limited to two sessions per week and such sessions must not exceed a period of five hours each per session. No two sessions of bingo shall be held within a 48-hour period of time. No more than two sessions of bingo shall be operated or conducted in any one building, hall or structure during any one calendar week and if two sessions are held, they must be held by the same exempt organization. This section shall not apply to bingo games conducted at a fair or other exhibition conducted pursuant to Article 45 of Chapter 106 of the General Statutes.
7. LAW: A man may not seduce a woman by lying, and claiming he will marry her.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: Mississippi
CITATION: 97-29-55 Seduction of female over age of eighteen by promised or pretended marriage.
ACTUAL: If any person shall obtain carnal knowledge of any woman, or female child, over the age of eighteen years, of previous chaste character, by virtue of any feigned or pretended marriage or any false or feigned promise of marriage, he shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than five years; but the testimony of the female seduced, alone, shall not be sufficient to warrant a conviction.
8. LAW: One must not collect seaweed.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: New Hampshire
CITATION: TITLE XVIII
FISH AND GAME
GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO FISH AND GAME
ACTUAL:In Night: If any person shall carry away or collect for the purpose of carrying away any seaweed or rockweed from the seashore below high-water mark, between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning, he shall be guilty of a violation.
9. LAW: It is illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while committing a murder.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: New Jersey
CITATION: 2C:39-13 Unlawful use of body vests.
ACTUAL: A person is guilty of a crime if he uses or wears a body vest while engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, criminal escape or assault under N.J.S.2C:12-1b. Use or wearing a body vest while engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit a crime of the first degree is a crime of the second degree. Otherwise it is a crime of the third degree.
10. LAW: Unless a customer orders it specifically, it’s against the law to serve margarine instead of butter at a restaurant.
COUNTRY: USA / STATE: Wisconsin
ACTUAL: (4) The serving of colored oleomargarine or margarine at a public eating place as a substitute for table butter is prohibited unless it is ordered by the customer.