For the 50+ Traveler

Many of us don’t like sharing our Netflix passwords, but what if your state made this illegal and punishable by law?

The U.S. is. a strange country when it comes to creating laws, since some are federally enforced and others differ wildly from state to state. There are states where it’s illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub, or to send someone an unprompted, surprise pizza.

While many of the following state laws are enforced rather loosely, they’re still technically illegal and can be punishable with fines or even jail time. Check out the following eight odd things you won’t believe are illegal in these U.S. states.

1. No Kissing On Sundays


During the height of “Blue Laws” in the U.S., Connecticut was one of several states that created a plethora of strange regulations, many that are no longer enforced today, but for unknown reasons, still remain on the books.

Blue Laws were created in the U.S. in order to restrict activity based on religious doctrine according to the Tenement Museum, an immigration museum located in New York City.

No kissing on Sundays was just one of Connecticut’s many strange decrees created during the time when Blue Laws went into effect under the Connecticut General Court in 1650.

Hand honking a horn

2. No Honking Your Horn Near A Sandwich Shop After 9 P.M.


This very specific law in Arkansas might sound absurd to some, but historically, it made a lot of sense at the time of its creation.

The law prohibiting the honking of horns near sandwich shops after 9 p.m. in Arkansas was created in the 1920s when a curb service fad was taking on throughout the country. During this time, there were drive-up “fast food” joints serving up cold drinks and sandwiches, where you had to honk your horn in order to receive service.

The law initially prohibited civilians from honking their horns for drive-up service after 11 p.m. as a means to minimize disturbances for such establishments’ surrounding neighbors. At the time, anyone breaking this law would be served a misdemeanor offense that could result in a fine between $2 and $5.

Man texting and walking

3. No Texting And Walking


Now, this is a law we can actually get behind. Honolulu, Hawaii’s no-texting-and-walking law went into effect in 2017, after the city saw a high rate of pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, according to NPR.

Those caught walking and texting in a crosswalk by law enforcement can now be ticketed, and Hawaii’s Public Radio reported that this law extends to looking downward at any type of screen, whether it be a phone, tablet, iPod, or videogame.

According to this new law, the only exception to the rule is if you need to call 911 to report an emergency.

4. No Teaching About Polygamy


Teaching about polygamy is a felony act in Mississippi -- one that could result in a fine of up to $500, or even jail time for up to six months.

Under this strange Mississippi law, civilians are prohibited from “teach[ing] another the doctrines, principles, or tenets of polygamy,” according to Justia, a site specializing in legal information.

This law also includes Mississippi residents who move to another state or territory with the intention of embracing, adopting, or practicing polygamy.

5. No Arrests On Sunday


You’d think a law like this would cause complete anarchy every week!

Another head-scratching law enforced in Ohio, no arrests can be legally made on Sundays or on the 4th of July.

This is yet another example of one of the previously-mentioned Blue Laws that dates back to the 1700s and 1800s, intended to “prohibit activities that prevented people from attending church on Sundays,” according to Frank Leonbruno, Chief Deputy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Painesville, Ohio.

A mug of tea and a laptop

6. No Sharing Your Netflix Password


Since July 2011, citizens in Tennessee are prohibited from sharing login information for sites such as Netflix and iTunes.

The illegal sharing of passwords in Tennessee is known widely as the Tennessee Login Law, a newer state law that served as an update to outdated cable-TV theft laws.

Unsurprisingly, this Tennessee password-sharing law was lobbied heavily for by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in an attempt to “stop the bleeding that is illegal music sharing, and apparently illegal movie streaming as well,” according to Business Insider.

7. No Residing On A Boat For More Than 30 Days


Known throughout Georgia as the Live-Aboard Law, in 1992 the state of Georgia made it illegal to spend more than 30 days on a boat in one calendar year.

The law was originally created due to rundown-looking floating houses situated along the Altamaha River that local residents felt were unappealing and dangerous to the environment.

Due to mounting dissatisfaction from Georgia’s boating community -- and from boaters from other states who would flee to Georgia to escape hurricanes -- Georgia legislature relaxed the law to 90 days.