THE MOST RIDICULOUS FINES IN THE U.S.
Sunday No Fun Day (Alabama)
Deep in the Bible Belt you’ll find that the Sabbath is to be kept holy – enforced by church and state. “Playing games” such as cards and dominoes on Sundays will land you a minimum fine somewhere between $10 and $100.
Flirting in the City (New York)
When a beautiful woman walks by in New York, keep your eyes forward. There is a law that prohibits men from turning around on any street and looking at a woman “in that way.” The first violation will cost you $25; the second will result in having to wear horse blinders for correctional purposes.
Taking Alligators (Louisiana)
Deep in Louisiana Gator Country, you can receive up to 10 years in jail and/or $3,000 fine for taking an alligator from the wild. Depending on the value of the reptile, you’re looking at 2-year minimum sentence. It seems wrestling a wild gator would be punishment enough.
Rats and Baseball Bats (Illinois)
Most humans shudder when faced with rat infestation and would use any household object they can find to aid in shoeing them off. In Illinois however, don’t reach for the Louisville Slugger; there is a $1,000 fine for beating rats with baseball bats.
Harassing Dogs (Ohio)
If you live in Eastlake, Ohio and feel the need to pester an innocent dog, you’ll want to resist the urge. It’s amazing that this law ever even had to be penned, but still, the inappropriate act will hit you with a fine of $25 or 10 days in jail.
Goth Suicide (California)
The great state of California has declared it illegal to wear any shade of black while cutting your wrists. While most states found it suitable to call the general act of suicide illegal, California defines what not to wear while doing so and charges violators a minimum fine of $8000 and/or a maximum of 5 years in jail.
Throwing Tomatoes (Kentucky)
Touring politicians can breathe a sigh of relief when visiting Kentucky because throwing tomatoes at a public speaker is a punishable offense. Though it’s considered a dying art, hurling fruit at an ill-favored speaker can land you up to one year in jail.
Red and Black Flags (West Virginia)
The Constitution allows everyone to worship as they please as long as it doesn’t involve red and black flags. West Virginia state code forbids the possession or display of any and all red or black flags with potential fines resulting between $100 and $500. Stick with stars and stripes.
Nuclear Detonation (California)
If there was an eleventh commandment, it would say Though shalt not detonate a nuclear device. Some laws seem self-evident but in Chico, California, it’s written as illegal to detonate a nuclear device within city limits under penalty of a $500 fine. If detonation is successful, who’s issuing this fine?
No Dog Mating (California)
Mating is an innate animal instinct that perpetuates the circle of life but California has declared it a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church. Owners found enabling such lewd acts are punishable by law at a fine of $500 and/or six months in prison.
Christmas Lights (San Diego)
What should be simple neighborly etiquette is actually written in San Diego city law: Christmas lights posted on houses past February 2nd will result in a fine to the home owner of up to $250. No more waiting until you cross the six month barrier and saying that you just put them up early.
Mispronouncing Joliet (Illinois)
In small town Joliet, IL the powers-that-be are rather particular about the pronunciation of their fair city. Local folks know it to be JOE-LEE-ETT but unknowing outsiders caught pronouncing it JOLLY-ETTE are slapped with a $5 fee for their ignorance.
Puppet Shows (Indiana)
Mr. Rogers would be a multiple-felon if he were from Indiana. Any person that collects money for hosting a puppet show, wire dancing and/or tumbling act is in violation of the Act to Prevent Certain Immoral Practices and is therefore subject to a whopping $3 fine for their transgressions.
Sleeveless Shirt in Parks (Maryland)
The state of Maryland has found it necessary to outlaw sleeveless shirts in public parks. Any individual in violation of this statute of modesty is subject to a $10 fine and a scarlet letter.
Salt on the Railroad Track (Alabama)
In an effort to extend the life of the tracks and the soil that surrounds the ties, the state of Alabama has made a law that forbids one from putting salt on the local train tracks. Though the law was written way back when, to this day it remains, the violation is punishable by death.