15 Random, Useless Laws in America That Actually Exist

Not long ago we wrote an article about crazy traffic laws, and it got a ton of attention. So, with that in mind, we went hunting for some useless laws in America that can’t be real — but totally are. They range from how you can eat and drink, to ways you’re allowed to behave in public. And after reading them, you’re probably going to wonder what happened in that state to make an official put one of these laws on the books in the first place.

(To be fair, though, there are a couple laws we kind of like, so we’ll save them for last. Until then, enjoy the folly.)

15. Alaska
Shooting bears is acceptable in the 49th state. It’s also, in theory, legal to shoot a bear while it’s sleeping. That said, it’s illegal to wake a sleeping bear merely to take a picture of it, or with it. However, if you’re going to wake a sleeping bear to take a photo then maybe you deserve whatever comes your way.

14. California
Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. We’re assuming that applies to humans as well.

13. North Dakota
It’s illegal for restaurants in this state to serve both pretzels and beer at the same time. Random, much?

12. Oklahoma
It is illegal to have sex before marriage. Unfortunately, it’s also illegal for bar owners to allow anyone inside their establishment to pretend to have sex with a buffalo. Oh, and if you are married, oral sex is a misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. That blows!

11. Nevada
Here’s a law that we’re assuming no one follows, especially in Las Vegas: You’re not allowed to buy drinks for more than three people at a time.

10. Nebaska
Also in our “probably not enforced” category is this one: It’s illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.

9. Wisconsin
It’s illegal to serve butter substitutes in state prisons. Great. Now the cafeteria workers have something else to worry about!

8. Texas
It is illegal to sell your eye to someone. Good to know.

7. North Carolina
You are not allowed to play bingo for more than five hours. Period. Sorry, granny, but you’re out!

6. South Carolina
It’s illegal for anyone under 18 to play a pinball machine. Fortunately, it looks like they can play bingo for as long as they want.

5. Hawaii
Another strike against grandparents! Coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.

4. Utah
A person can’t have sex in the back of an ambulance if it is responding to an emergency call. But if you see a parked ambulance, and it’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’.

3. Idaho
In Idaho it’s against the law for a man to give a box of candy weighing more than 50 pounds. And, if you really think about it, this might just be a service toward humanity.

2. Massachusetts
Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked. Actually, we’re not sure if that’s so bad, either.

1. Maine
You can’t keep your Christmas lights and wreaths up past January 14th. That’s right, it’s illegal. On one hand, being told how you’re allowed to decorate gets our liberal side fired up. But then again, having been annoyed by the sight of tacky old Christmas decorations in the heat of summer, we kind of get it.

Maine? Keep up the good work.