Dumb Laws of Idaho

compiled by Dixie A. Walter

"Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them made." ~Otto von Bismark

     There are literally thousands of silly, useless laws in the United States alone. Seems people like to make brainless laws but don't like to eliminate them, ever. That's good for us because if they were removed we wouldn't have a chance to shake our heads at human stupidity. And think of the laughs we would miss.

  • Compared to most other states, Idaho appears to have fewer dumb laws. But the state isnít exempt from silly legislation.

  • Forget about riding a merry-go-round on Sundays; itís a crime.

  • Although repealed in the past few years, this one must have made confectioners happy for decades. A box of candy given by a man to his sweetheart had to weigh fifty pounds or more. Anything under fifty pounds was illegal.

  • If youíre in a bad mood donít go out of the house. A person canít be seen in public without a smile on their face.

  • In 1912 a law was passed stating ďThe carrying of concealed weapons is forbidden, unless some are exhibited to public view.Ē

  • The police are polite if they suspect people are making love in a car. He must honk or flash his lights and wait three minutes before approaching the vehicle.

  • Itís illegal to ride your motorcycle if you are 88 years old or older.

  • Donít fall asleep in a dog kennel, thatís against the law.

  • Planning to fish from the back of a camel or giraffe? You will break the law if you do.

Silly Utah Laws

  • You canít fish from horseback in Utah, but it looks like you can fish from the back of a giraffe or camel.

  • Itís illegal not to drink milk.

  • You can marry a first cousin when you reach the age of 50. Itís not illegal to have nuclear weapons, but itís illegal to ignite them.

  • Birds have the right of way on all Utah highways.

  • Whale hunting is an offense in this inland state.

  • You must ask for the wine list in a restaurant, or itís not legal to serve you wine with your meals.

  • Alcoholic beverages canít contain more than 3.2 percent alcohol. 

  • Nightclubs can only get a liquor license if they claim they are a ďrealĒ club or association, and not a for-profit business. 

  • Alcohol cannot be sold during an emergency.

  • If youíre not a retailer you cannot possess beer in containers bigger than two liters.

  • If you persist in walking on the cracks between paving stones on the sidewalk of a state highway you are committing a felony.

  • Itís a crime to curse on a bus.

  • Women cannot swear.

  • No dancing cheek to cheek. Daylight must be seen between dancers.

  • No lovemaking in the back of a moving ambulance. The woman can be charged with a sexual misdemeanor and ďher name published in the local newspaper.Ē Nothing happens to the man.

  • Falsely accusing a woman of being unchaste is slander and punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of

  • $1,000.

  • If a woman commits a criminal act in the presence of her husband, he is responsible.

  • Thereís a $50 fine for snowball throwing.

  • You cannot carry a violin in a paper bag while walking down the street.

  • Pharmacists cannot sell gunpowder to cure headaches.

  • But blind people and quadriplegics have the right to hunt. Killing an on-duty poultry inspector can bring the death penalty.

  • Consenting, but unmarried, adults who make love can be jailed for six months and fined $1,000.

  • If you alter the license plate stickers on your car you could receive a 15-year prison sentence and fined $10,000.

  • A drive-by shooting is punishable by five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

  • Boxing matches allowing biting are not allowed.

  • Despite the fact that all 40 school districts in Utah forbid corporal punishment, parents can give written permission for teachers to spank their kids.

  • Raffles are defined by law as illegal lotteries. However, they are routinely used by charities and nonprofit groups for fundraisers.

  • It is illegal to cause a catastrophe.

  • Auctions canít be advertised by hiring trombone players to play on the street.

Dumb laws of Washington State

compiled by Dixie A. Walter

             Here are some of the dim-witted laws of our otherwise bright state:

  • Forget about buying a TV on Sunday in Spokane. It's illegal. Buying any kind of meat on Sunday in Washington is also against the law as is purchasing a mattress.

  • This is a tricky one. A man may be looking at five years of jail time for "deflowering" a virgin. This is against the law regardless of the woman's age or marital status. Think about it.

  • It is against the law to paint polka dots on Old Glory.

  • All lollipops are forbidden.

  • If you are driving a motorized vehicle toward a town or city and have "criminal intentions" it is "mandatory" that you stop before entering the city limits and telephone the chief of police.

  • It's illegal to pretend that your parents are wealthy.

  • One of my favorites is so nonsensical I would like to know the inner workings of the minds that came up with this. When two trains come to a crossing, neither can go until the other has passed. 

  • In Bremerton you can't "shuck" peanuts on the street.

  • If you live in Everett don't plan to put a hypnotized person, or even a supposedly hypnotized person, in a store window.

  • In Lynden you cannot dance and drink in the same establishment.

  • In Seattle you can get in trouble with the law if you carry a concealed weapon over six feet long.

  • And when riding a bus, women cannot sit on men's laps without a pillow between them.

  • No one can set fire to another person's property without asking permission.

  • You are breaking the law in this state if you drive while asleep.

  • It is illegal to gather and "consume" road kill.

  • At night a man with a lantern must go about 100 yards ahead of a "motor car."

  • A law in Vancouver requires all "motor vehicles" to carry an anchor to be used as the emergency brake.

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So who is the judge of equines in Wilbur where it's against the law to ride an "ugly" horse?

  • Think these laws are odd, ludicrous and outdated? Ordinance Number 7, passed June 7, 1995 in San Juan County states that eight women may not reside in the same house because doing so would "constitute a brothel." It must not be a college county.                                                                    

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"He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh." 

~The Koran












"Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable"

 ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe












 "If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think."

~Clarence Darrow