Laws and regulations can be passed at the city, county, state and federal levels. Laws tend to pile up in the dark and dusty corners of government. We rarely go back and clean out these old laws by officially repealing them. As a result, there are some truly strange laws that stayed on the books long past the point where they were useful. Here is just a sliver of the odd laws that apparently made sense to officials at the time.
The Hose Detour
Oxford, Ohio, made it illegal to drive over a hose that was laying on the ground to be used to put out a fire. There was an exception in the law, however. The Fire Marshall had the power to give you the OK to drive over the hose.
Take Ten Paces, Then Just Keep Walking
Ohio law made it illegal to participate in a duel. So keep your swords in their scabbards, your guns in their holsters and your arrows in their quivers. Maybe try rock, paper, scissors instead.
Can Trout Use A Breathalyzer?
Someone felt the need to pass a law against getting fish drunk. Seriously. In all fairness, there’s nothing more annoying than a bass on a bender.
Know Your Taxi Etiquette
Youngstown, Ohio, made it illegal to ride on the roof of a taxi. No word yet on whether they’ve updated to law for ride-sharing services.
A License To Do What?
While there is some dispute about this, it is possible that Cleveland law still requires a license to catch or kill mice. Maybe there’s an exemption for cats.
Not Even If I Get A License?
Ohio law once banned people from fishing for whales…on Sundays. How it was possible to fish for whales on the other six days remains an unsolved mystery. I suppose you can say the whales just aren’t biting today and run afoul of this law. Still, how could you possibly prove that the alleged offender was, in fact, whale fishing?
While many of these old laws are funny, they serve as an important reminder. You don’t have to know something is illegal to break the law, and the law doesn’t have to make much sense. If you find yourself on the wrong side of any law, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.