Weird
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Weird Laws in Virginia

Updated June 8, 2017 5.9k votes 1.0k voters 44.8k views25 items

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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons.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.
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  • Spitting on a sea gull1
    228
    131

    Spitting on a sea gull

    Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated. (Norfolk)
  • Corrupt practices of Bribery2
    177
    109

    Corrupt practices of Bribery

    There is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.
  • Drunk and driving3
    175
    124

    Drunk and driving

    If 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 hunting4
    152
    124

    Animal hunting

    No animal may be hunted on Sundays with the exception of racoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 AM.
  • Skunk as a pet5
    113
    129

    Skunk as a pet

    No person may keep a skunk as a pet. (Prince William County)
  • Tickling a woman6
    167
    211

    Tickling a woman

    It is illegal to tickle women.
  • Patting a woman’s derriere7
    75
    106

    Patting a woman’s derriere

    A man may face 60 days in jail for patting a woman’s derriere. (Norfolk)
  • Legal to beat wife8
    137
    218

    Legal to beat wife

    It 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 detectors9
    66
    109

    Radar detectors

    Police radar detectors are illegal.
  • Washing a mule10
    74
    122

    Washing a mule

    No one may wash a mule on the sidewalk. (Culpeper)
  • Sex with the lights on11
    137
    227

    Sex with the lights on

    Not only is it illegal to have sex with the lights on, one may not have sex in any position other than missionary.
  • Pool12
    66
    125

    Pool

    Any 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 handlebars13
    51
    102

    Riding on the handlebars

    It is illegal for a person to ride on the handlebars of a bike. (Virginia Beach)
  • Engaging in business14
    58
    118

    Engaging in business

    You may not engage in business on Sundays, with the exception of almost every industry.
  • Cuss about another15
    58
    124

    Cuss about another

    It is illegal to cuss about another. (Prince William County)
  • Flipping a coin16
    74
    155

    Flipping a coin

    It is illegal to flip a coin in a restaurant to see who pays for a coffee. (Richmond)
  • Woman driving a car17
    91
    196

    Woman driving a car

    It 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 sex18
    73
    168

    Oral and anal sex

    You may not have oral or anal sex.
  • Special license19
    42
    106

    Special license

    A special license is required for persons wishing to sell such items as tableware and coins. (Frederick)
  • Driving by the same place20
    36
    100

    Driving by the same place

    It is also unlawful to drive by the same place within 30 minutes on Atlantic Avenue. (Virginia Beach)
  • Honk the horn21
    53
    137

    Honk the horn

    Citizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.
  • Corset22
    42
    128

    Corset

    Women must wear a corset after sundown and be in the company of male chaperon. (Norfolk)
  • Sexual relationship for singles23
    42
    130

    Sexual relationship for singles

    If one is not married, it is illegal for him to have sexual relations.
  • Trick-or-treats24
    52
    190

    Trick-or-treats

    Children are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
  • Person of color25
    51
    195

    Person of color

    A person of color may not be oustide or within the city limits after 7 pm. (Dayton)