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Weird Laws in Wisconsin

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List of strange state laws on the books in Wisconsin. These rules and regulations were passed by the Wisconsin state legislature, or in an individual in Wisconsin city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case, that then set a common law precedent from that point on.

Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor, online and more generally in popular culture. TV shows like "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with the notion of small towns having peculiar regulations on the books. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)

Often, "dumb laws" as reported on websites and in humor books have been shown to be inaccurate. This sometimes happens because a real, sensible law has been exaggerated or misunderstood, turning into something that sounds silly or ridiculous. Other times, it is simply the result of a hoax being repeated enough times to gain some kind of credibility. If you think any of the laws on this page are not accurate or do not remain active in Wisconsin, let me know in the comments below.

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    Livestock have the right-of-way on public roads.
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    Tattooing is illegal unless it is done for medical purposes. (Brookfield)
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    Offensive looking

    If one is thought of as offensive looking, it is illegal for him to be in public during the ... more
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    Definition of rape

    The state definition of rape stated that it was a man having sex with a woman he knows not to ... more
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    Prank phone calls.

    It is unlawful for one to allow another to use the first person’s telephone in order to make ... more
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    new! Apple pie

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    State of arousal

    No male is allowed to be in a state of arousal in public. (Kenosha)
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    Butter substitutes

    Butter substitutes are not allowed to be served in state prisons.
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    Unclothed mannequin

    It is illegal to display an unclothed mannequin in a store window. (La Crosse)
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    Worrying a squirrel

    You cannot “worry a squirrel. (La Crosse)
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    Riding a bicycle

    Persons may not ride a bicycle with their hands off the handlebars. (Sun Prairie)
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    It is illegal to play checkers in public. (La Crosse)
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    Putting litter

    You are not allowed to put litter into someone else’s trash receptacle without express ...
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    Wearing anything red

    Women are not allowed to wear anything red in public. (St. Croix)
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    Kissing on train

    It is illegal to kiss on a train.
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    Camp in a wagon

    One may not camp in a wagon on any public highway or risk a fine of up to ten dollars.
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    Playing flute and

    It is against the law to play a flute and drums on the streets to attract attention.
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    Manual flushed urinals

    The government may not prohibit manual flushed urinals.
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    Screens on windows

    Screens are required on all windows from May 1 to October 1. (Hudson)
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    Wake a fireman

    It is illegal to wake a fireman when he is asleep. (Racine)
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    Cutting woman's hair

    It is illegal to cut a woman’s hair.
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    Parking for over two hours

    An old ordinance forbids parking for over two hours unless a horse is tied to the car.
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    Returning books

    If a person shall fail to return books he/she has checked out from the library, that person ... more
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    Sitting on parked vehicle

    No one may sit on another’s parked vehicle without expressed consent of the owner. (Hudson) ... more
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    Cats in cemetery

    Cats are forbidden from entering cemeteries. (Sun Prairie)
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    Throwing rocks

    It is illegal to throw rocks at a railroad car.
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    Unremoved snow

    Unremoved snow on one’s property is considered a public nuisance. (Sun Prairie)
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