List of strange state laws on the books in Virginia. These rules and regulations were passed by the Virginia state legislature, or in an individual Virginia 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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons.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 Virginia, let me know in the comments below.
Spitting on a sea gullSpitting on a sea gull is not tolerated. (Norfolk)
Corrupt practices of BriberyThere is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.
Drunk and drivingIf you are drunk and not driving your car, and the person who is driving the car is drunk as well, you may both receive DUI’s. (Virginia Beach)
Animal huntingNo animal may be hunted on Sundays with the exception of racoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 AM.
Skunk as a petNo person may keep a skunk as a pet. (Prince William County)
Tickling a womanIt is illegal to tickle women.
Patting a woman’s derriereA man may face 60 days in jail for patting a woman’s derriere. (Norfolk)
Legal to beat wifeIt is legal for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps so long as it is before 8:00 pm. (Stafford County)
Radar detectorsPolice radar detectors are illegal.
Washing a muleNo one may wash a mule on the sidewalk. (Culpeper)
Sex with the lights onNot only is it illegal to have sex with the lights on, one may not have sex in any position other than missionary.
PoolAny person who owns a pool risks a $2500 fine for not closing the gate to the pool when they get done swimming in it. (Frederick)
Riding on the handlebarsIt is illegal for a person to ride on the handlebars of a bike. (Virginia Beach)
Engaging in businessYou may not engage in business on Sundays, with the exception of almost every industry.
Cuss about anotherIt is illegal to cuss about another. (Prince William County)
Flipping a coinIt is illegal to flip a coin in a restaurant to see who pays for a coffee. (Richmond)
Woman driving a carIt is illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag. (Waynesboro)
Oral and anal sexYou may not have oral or anal sex.
Special licenseA special license is required for persons wishing to sell such items as tableware and coins. (Frederick)
Driving by the same placeIt is also unlawful to drive by the same place within 30 minutes on Atlantic Avenue. (Virginia Beach)
Honk the hornCitizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.
CorsetWomen must wear a corset after sundown and be in the company of male chaperon. (Norfolk)
Sexual relationship for singlesIf one is not married, it is illegal for him to have sexual relations.
Trick-or-treatsChildren are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Person of colorA person of color may not be oustide or within the city limits after 7 pm. (Dayton)