Generally, laws are passed for the common welfare and safety of the people in a community. Every state has its own quirks, and Louisiana is no exception. In an effort to keep our readers informed, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about a few Louisiana traffic laws that may be considered uncommon or unusual.
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For example, it is against the law to smoke in a vehicle when children are present. Louisiana revised statute 32:300.4 states that it is “unlawful for the operator or any passenger in a motor vehicle to smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars in a motor vehicle, passenger van, or pick-up truck, when a child who is required to be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat, a forward-facing child safety seat, a booster seat, or a motor vehicle’s safety belt as required in R.S. 32:295 is also present in such vehicle, regardless of whether windows of the motor vehicle are down.”
Most laws make obvious sense, and were instated to keep us safe. At times, however, some laws are completely nonsensical and beg the question, “do we really need a law for that?”
Although entertaining, some local laws make you wonder what was going on when the legislature felt compelled to pass them. Louisiana is home to some very silly, strange, odd and funny laws you may not know about.
The following laws must have been enacted to curb peoples’ inappropriate and rude behavior:
- It is illegal to urinate in the water supply and an infraction may cost you up to 20 years in prison
- It is illegal to gargle in public places.
- Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.
- You may not put a bed to the “ultimate test” before buying it.
- In New Orleans, you may not fall onto a sidewalk and block it while being drunk.
Some strange Louisiana laws clearly originated to address very specific circumstances:
- Ordering a pizza to be delivered to your friend without them knowing could land you a $500 fine.
- You may not “dare” another person to go onto railroad tracks owned by someone else.
- Mourners at a wake may not eat more than three sandwiches.
- Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts.
Sports fans in Louisiana should beware of these strange laws:
- “Fake” wrestling matches are prohibited.
- Our “paper bag head” New Orleans Saints fans may be surprised to find out that in Louisiana, it’s a crime for fans at a sporting event to insult or disparage the players!
Keep these laws in mind when attending Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans:
- Mardi Gras beads may not be thrown from a third story window.
- Snakes are not allowed within 200 yards of the Mardi Gras parade route.
- Condoms may not be thrown from parade floats.
- No one may throw objects at a parade float.
- Television reporters may not throw doubloons, trinkets, or other throws to the crowd during a parade.
Some laws are clearly outdated and illegal today:
- Goatees are illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.
- It is illegal for a woman in New Orleans to drive a car unless her husband is waving a flag in front of it.
And some laws can only be found in New Orleans:
- It is illegal to practice voodoo in the city limits.
- You may not tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.
- City commission members may not drink during a public meeting or else risk a $50 fine.
- One may not host a game at Lafayette Square without a permit.
- One-handed bicycle riding is prohibited. Every rider of a bicycle, tricycle or other vehicle propelled by hand or foot must keep at least one hand on the handlebars while riding.
- You may not ride horseback or drive cattle on the neutral ground or fasten any animal to a tree in a public highway, neutral ground, park, public place, triangle or sidewalk in the city.
The town of Sulphur, near Lake Charles, Louisiana, has a number of strange laws of its own:
- It is illegal to be an alcoholic.
- Saying obscene things on the telephone is illegal.
In Jefferson Parish:
- Minors may not go to businesses with coin-operated foosball machines unless accompanied by an adult.
- No one may pour a drink out on the ground at any drive-in movie.
- All garbage must be cooked before it can be fed to any hogs.
Around the state of Louisiana, there are plenty of strange laws on the books:
- In Carencro, there is currently a ban on cowbells.
- In Abbeville, it is illegal to use your rollerskates on the sidewalk.
- In Rayne, it is illegal to trick-or-treat for kids who are aged 14 and up.
While some of these laws may seem strange, it is always important to have a knowledgeable attorney who will fight for your rights. If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by the negligence or carelessness of others, contact our team of more than 80 personal injury attorneys right away. With offices across the Gulf South region, we have a proven history of helping our clients get positive results, for even the most challenging of cases.