Legally Weird: 7 Weirdest Laws in America
Did you know that in 2017, the U.S. was home to over 272.48 million registered vehicles? That’s more than a 3.68 million jump from the year before!
With millions of cars on U.S. roads, it’s no wonder we also have some of the highest road accident rates worldwide. In fact, for three straight years now, the U.S. has seen at least 40,000 road fatalities each year. These accidents also injured 4.5 million people in 2018 alone.
This is one why we have all sorts of laws aimed to bring down accident rates. Even if they’re some of the weirdest laws in America. In fact, some of them are so bizarre they can be some of the weirdest laws in the world!
Ready to dive into the world of the very unusual driving laws in the country? Then let’s get this list started!
1. No Hugs for Washington Drivers
In the State of Washington, a driver operating a vehicle can’t be in the arms of another. That sounds funny and is no doubt one of the weird Washington laws, but it’s true. Under RCW 46.61.665, it’s unlawful for a motorist to embrace another person while driving.
After all, hugging someone while driving means that the hands aren’t on the steering wheel. This can make the driver lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a potential accident. This is why “hugging” someone while driving can be evidence of reckless driving.
Speaking of reckless driving, the state also enacted a new distracted driving law in 2018. The law says that the use of all types of hand-held devices is illegal. Even if you were only to snap a quick photo of Seattle’s amazing sunsets, that would be against the law.
You also can’t text or receive calls even while stuck in traffic or at a stop sign. If you do so and you get into any kind of accident, you’d need an experienced car accidents lawyer to defend you.
By the way, the law still lets you eat and drink coffee while driving. You need to make sure you have complete control of your ride though. Otherwise, you may end up driving “distracted”, which is against the law.
2. Drunk Folks in South Dakota Can Get a DUI Charge Even If They’re Not Driving
When you hear the term “DUI”, you’d think this is only for intoxicated drivers driving their cars, right? After all, DUI means “driving under the influence”, be it alcohol or drugs. “Driving”, as in present tense.
South Dakota has a different take on this, making their DUI laws one of the weirdest laws in the nation. Here, you can face a DUI charge without actually driving. Even if you don’t have your car keys in the ignition.
So long as you have actual control of your car and you’re intoxicated, you can get charged with DUI. This includes being behind the wheel of a parked car, trying to sober up. If the police see you, better prepare yourself for a DUI charge.
3. In Tennessee, No One Can Hunt While in a Vehicle – Except People in Wheelchairs
You read that right. Only people in permanent confinement to wheelchairs can hunt wild game in their cars. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but still, that’s one of the weirdest laws in the US.
For the rest, it’s illegal to kill any wild animals while in a vehicle, be it powered by gas or electricity. You can’t shoot at or kill any wild birds or fowl while driving in Tennessee, period.
4. Connecticut Drivers Always Need to Stop for a Police Car Using a Siren
Yes, even if you’re not the one they’re pursuing. So long as the police car has its strobes on or running its siren, you must stop.
This applies to any other emergency vehicle, such as a fire truck or ambulance on the way to an incident. You can’t start your car and drive until these vehicles with an active siren or strobe have passed you.
5. You Can’t Cook in a Car in Fenwick Island
This is one of the weirdest laws ever because, well, because most cars usually don’t have an oven, do they?
Either way, it’s illegal to cook in your car while you’re in the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware. Neither can you sleep, change clothes, or use the toilet in a vehicle, even if it’s parked. You’re also breaking the law if you occupy a vehicle parked on public roads from 12 midnight to 6 in the morning.
If the police catch you, prepare to shell out $50 for the penalty alone. That’s for every offense, which also comes with other hefty court costs.
6. Derby, Kansas Folks Whose Tires Screech are Law Breakers
If your tires screech or squeal while driving on Derby, Kansas roads, be ready to pay up to a $500 penalty. In fact, if you turn a corner and your tires let out these sounds, you may even go to jail for up to thirty days! Worse, you can face both types of punishment, as this makes you guilty of a misdemeanor.
7. Windshield Decorations are a No-No in Illinois
Illinois bans all objects hung or suspended between drivers and their windshield. Yes, that includes your favorite stuffed anime dolls or fuzzy dice, no matter how small they are. You also have to say goodbye to your hula girls and even hanging air fresheners.
If the authorities catch you with these objects, they’ll consider you a petty offender. That’ll then lead to a fine of between $50 to $500. If you get caught for the second time, that penalty will become a Class C misdemeanor.
Don’t Break These Laws, Even If They’re the Weirdest Laws in America
There you have it, some of the weirdest laws in America that you may never have heard of. Some of them can be pretty wild and hilarious, but remember, the law is still the law.
So, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran driver, be sure to follow these rules of the road, no matter how peculiar they are! Keep them in mind as well if you’re going on a road trip to any of these states. That way, you won’t see a drop in your driving scores and you can keep safe on the roads.