1. DON’T ORDER A JACK AND COKE
Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kansas are dry by default, meaning local jurisdictions have to specifically authorize the sale of alcohol for it to be legal. That’s why you can’t open a bottle in the county where Jack Daniels is made.
2. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD
In Alabama a law bans driving while blindfolded. Kansas state law criminalizes screeching your tires. A local noise ordinance in Arkansas prohibits drivers from honking their horns outside restaurants after 9 pm. Best to stick to driving without the distractions.
3. THESE STATES ARE SERIOUS ABOUT FOOD
Sending a pizza to someone who didn’t order can get you a $500 fine in Louisiana. In Wisconsin—known as “America’s Dairyland”—restaurants can’t serve you margarine and call it butter. But luckily, it seems to be an urban myth that Oklahoma makes it illegal to take a bite out of someone else’s hamburger.
4. WEIRD PLACES YOU CAN’T DRINK
In Wyoming, you’re not allowed to drink in a mine. In Colorado, it’s while you’re on top of a horse. Several states prohibit drinking while piloting a boat, but New Mexico also bans drinking while using “water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, or similar devices.”
5. DON’T SLEEP WHERE YOU EAT
This one sounds hard to believe, but it’s a real statute passed by the Illinois State Legislature in 1911. It’s illegal for someone to sleep in a bakery, fudge shop, cheese factory, or anywhere food is prepared, served, or sold.
6. NO SPITTING IN PUBLIC
In California, the Burlingame City Council passed a regulation that bans spitting in public—except, that is, unless you’re on a baseball diamond. Turns out that spitting was already a misdemeanor in California, but the council wanted to take the law into their own hands. Can’t say we dislike this one.
7. YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAY
The majority of states have made marijuana legal in some way or another, including Michigan. But the state has one weird quirk in its laws: since 1927, it insists on using the archaic spelling “marihuana” in legislation.
8. NO CROWD-SURFING ALLOWED
Performers in Billings, Montana, can’t step off the stage during a performance. A local law stipulates that “no entertainer or performer whether male or female shall be permitted to leave any such platform or area while entertaining.”
9. NO SALTY LANGUAGE
In Rockville, Maryland, it’s against the law to “profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk, or highway.” Nearby Arlington, Virginia, decided to keep a similar law on the books, even though it was repealed statewide in 2020.
10. RESPECT THE INSECT
Pacific Grove, California, is intent on protecting its most famous visitors, monarch butterflies. It’s illegal to “molest or interfere with, in any way, the peaceful occupancy of the monarch butterflies on their annual visit.”
11. IT DOESN’T RHYME WITH KANSAS
In Arkansas, it’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state. This isn’t one of those antiquated laws that never got taken off the books. It was passed in 2010, and includes the following: “the sounding of the terminal ‘s’ is an innovation to be discouraged.”