Dumb / Weird laws in West Virginia

dumb west virginia lawsThe Law: No children may attend school with their breath smelling of “wild onions.

The Explanation: A certain type of wild onion grows in West Virginia called a “ramp“. These plants are renowned for their foul odor, which can supposedly be detected from up to a mile away while being cooked.

Comment by WVb: One of my favorite times of year here in West Virginia is “ramp” and “morel” season. I don’t like the fact that ramps are a member of the onion family because they neither smell or taste anything like onions! I don’t think that they can be smelled from a mile away either, although eating them and then going to the gym and sweating them out can get you some heinous looks.

The Law: Unmarried couple who live together and “lewdly associate” with one another may face up to a year in prison.

Full Text: �61-8-4. Lewd and lascivious cohabitation and conduct; penalty; when persons presumed to be unmarried.If any persons, not married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or, whether married or not, be guilty of open or gross lewdness and lasciviousness, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars, and may, in the discretion of the court, be imprisoned not exceeding six months, and, upon a repetition of the offense, they shall, upon conviction, be confined in jail not less than six nor more than twelve months. In prosecutions for adultery and fornication, and for lewdly and lasciviously cohabiting together, the persons named in the indictment shall be presumed to be unmarried persons in the absence of proof to the contrary.

Comment by WVb: If this law was enforced, most of my relatives would be sleeping on cots and eating nothing but bread and water.

The Law: When a railroad passes within 1 mile of a community of 100 or more people in it, they must build a station and stop there regularly to pick up and drop off passengers.

Comment by WVb: I can agree with this one. Well, I could have back whenever it was wrote. There is no need for it now. Have I mentioned that I needed some new teak outdoor furniture?

The Law: Any person who commits adultery shall be fined at least twenty dollars.

Full Text: �61-8-3. Adultery and fornication; penalty.If any person commit adultery or fornication, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty dollars.

Comment by WVb: $20 probably wouldn’t buy a blow job from a West Virginia (Princeton..ahem!) hooker in this day and age.

The Law: A tax of 1 cent is levied for every 16 and 9 tenths ounces of coke sold in a store.

Full Text: �11-19-2. Excise tax on bottled soft drinks, syrups and dry mixtures; disposition thereof.For the purpose of providing revenue for the construction, maintenance and operation of a four-year school of medicine, dentistry and nursing of West Virginia University, an excise tax is hereby levied and imposed on and after midnight of the last day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-one, upon the sale, use, handling or distribution of all bottled soft drinks and all soft drink syrups, whether manufactured within or without this state, as follows:(1) On each bottled soft drink, a tax of one cent on each sixteen and nine-tenths fluid ounces, or fraction thereof, or on each one-half liter, or fraction thereof contained therein.

(2) On each gallon of soft drink syrup, a tax of eighty cents, and in like ratio on each part gallon thereof, or on each four liters of soft drink syrup a tax of eighty-four cents, and in like ratio on each part four liters thereof.

(3) On each ounce by weight of dry mixture or fraction thereof used for making soft drinks, a tax of one cent or on each 28.35 grams, or fraction thereof, a tax of one cent. Any person manufacturing or producing within this state any bottled soft drink or soft drink syrup for sale within this state and any distributor, wholesale dealer or retail dealer or any other person who is the original consignee of any bottled soft drink or soft drink syrup manufactured or produced outside this state, or who brings such drinks or syrups into this state, shall be liable for the excise tax hereby imposed. The excise tax hereby imposed shall not be collected more than once in respect to any bottled soft drink or soft drink syrup manufactured, sold, used or distributed in this state. All revenue collected by the commissioner under the provisions of this article, less such costs of administration as are hereinafter provided for, shall be paid by him into a special medical school fund, which is hereby created in the state treasury, to be used solely for the construction, maintenance and operation of a four-year school of medicine, dentistry and nursing, as otherwise provided by law.

Comment by WVb: 16 and 9 tenths ounces. 9 tenths? What is this, gasoline?

The Law: A person may be placed in jail for up to six months for making fun of someone who does not accept a challege.

Full Text: �61-2-24. Taunting for nonparticipation in duel; penalty.If any person post another, or in writing or in print use any reproachful or contemptuous language to or concerning another, for not fighting a duel, or for not sending or accepting a challenge, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in jail not more than six months, or fined not exceeding one hundred dollars.

Comment by WVb: This is one of my favorites. Those of you who picked on me all through school, tried to get me to fight, and then picked on me some more because I didn’t fight….be expecting a call from my lawyer!

The Law: A person may not hold public office if he or she has ever participated in a duel.

Full Text: �6-5-7. Disqualification by dueling.Any citizen of this state who shall, either in or out of the state, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge so to do, or who shall act as a second, or knowingly aid or assist in such duel, shall ever thereafter be incapable of holding any office of honor, trust or profit in this state.

Comment by WVb: I wonder if “dueling banjos” is considered a disqualification? If so, 90% of the state has probably been disqualified.

The Law: For each act of public swearing a person shall be fined one dollar.

Full Text: �61-8-15. Profane swearing and drunkenness; penalty.If any person arrived at the age of discretion profanely curse or swear or get drunk in public, he shall be fined by a justice one dollar for each offense.

Comment by WVb: One dollar per swear word and one dollar for public intoxication. Would you like large bills?

The Law: According to the state constitution, it is unlawful for anyone to own a red or a black flag.

Full Text: �61-1-6. Display of red or black flag unlawful.It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his possession or to display any red or black flag, or to display any other flag, emblem, device or sign of any nature whatever, indicating sympathy with or support of ideals, institutions or forms of government, hostile, inimical or antagonistic to the form or spirit of the constitution, laws, ideals and institutions of this state or of the United States.

Comment by WVb: Sorry all you POW and MIA supporters. Your obviously not allowed to fly your black flags when you come through. (Rolling Thunder..ahem!)

The Law: If you wear a hat inside a theater, you may be fined.

Full Text: �61-6-16. Wearing hats in theaters and places of amusement; penalty.No person attending any performance at any theater, hall or opera house, or any such building where theatrical or other performances are given, when an admission fee is charged, shall wear upon his or her head any hat, bonnet or covering for the head which may obstruct the view of any person or persons during the performance in such theater, hall, opera house or other building where such performance is given; and if any person wear upon his or her head any hat, bonnet or other covering for the head which may obstruct the view of any person or persons, and refuse or fail to remove the same at the request of any person or persons whose view may be obstructed, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than two nor more than ten dollars.

Comment by WVb: What about Marge Simpson hair? I think that should fall into the category somewhere.

The Law: Roadkill may be taken home for supper.

The Explanation: In order to clean up roads not regularly maintained by the Department of Transportation, this law was passed. Not only did this law assuage the cravings of adventurous individuals looking for free meat, it lowered the cost of road maintenance as well.

Comment by WVb: This law is relatively new. I can remember just a couple of years back when it was passed. I got a call from my cousin one morning about 7am. He told me that someone had hit a deer in front of his house, and if I would help him gut and skin it, we would share the venison.

As we started to gut the deer, something just wasn’t right. Being a semi-avid hunter / deer slayer, guts weren’t new to me. Whatever hit this deer must have been going very fast because the inside of the deer was just one big gut soup. It looked like someone stuck the guts in a blender, hit puree, and then poured them back into the deer. It was horrid!

We got the nasty thing gutted, and began to skin it. The whole body of this deer was one large bruise. I swear I could see a FORD emblem right on the ribcage of deer. We ended up just tossing this one over the hill for the buzzards and crows. Never again will I waste my time on some nasty ass road kill!

Laws found on dumblaws.com

What are some weird laws in your state?

3 thoughts on “Dumb / Weird laws in West Virginia”

  1. I actually miss ramps. Nothing like that down here in Florida. We do have some great sweet green onions, but ramps are a singular experience. Yummy when grilled on top of a good steak over an open flame.

  2. You should have someone overnight you some next spring. Introduce your neighbors to them….lol.

    If your neighbors like them, I will sell them all they can eat!

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