Throughout its history, officials in the Kentucky state legislature and at local county levels have passed a long list of laws and regulations.
While they surely had the best of intentions when the laws were drawn up, the times and society have changed – even though some of the laws did not.
Whether the laws were kept on the books for good reason or were merely forgotten about, no one really knows for sure. What we do know is the laws you are about to read – regardless of how farfetched they may seem – are also real and very much a part of Kentucky law.
Join us as we explore some of the wackiest laws in Kentucky history.
You Can’t Throw Flowers at a Public Speaker
No matter how captivating their speech may be, Kentucky law says you cannot throw flowers at a public speaker. You can stand, you can applaud, you can even shout “Amen!,” but apparently tossing a fragrant rose is a step too far.
You also can’t throw rotten eggs or tomatoes at speakers – no matter how bad their jokes are. Everyone knows tomatoes are best when slathered with mayo between two slices of bread, anyway.
Fancy a Hat? Get your Husband’s Permission First!
Women in Owensboro may be fashion experts, but if they find a hat they particularly like, they need to obtain their husband’s say-so before making the purchase.
No Serpent Handling in Church
If you worship a higher power, you have to keep snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles out of it. Kentucky law KRS 437.060 says if you use a reptile of any kind during a religious service, you could be fined up to $100.
Stop the Car Before You Hunt!
This has to be among the weirdest laws in Kentucky.
Let’s say you’re riding along minding your own business, and you spot a 10-point buck grazing in a field. Before taking aim at your next big meal, you must first stop your vehicle.
The same applies if you’re flying in a helicopter, riding on a scooter, or hitching a ride on a semi. You simply cannot hunt from a moving vehicle.
Unless, of course, you’ve spotted a whale. That’s right, the only exception to this law is if the elusive game animal you’re after is a whale. Think about it; someone actually made the exception for whales.
Kentucky hasn’t been underwater since the Devonian period – roughly 419.2 million years ago.
What You Do on Sunday Is Now Your Own Business
While this law has since been repealed, in the past you could be fined $50 if you were found to be working on Sunday. Clergy members, athletic game officials, and certain businesses were excluded from the law.
Bikini-Clad Ladies Need Police Protection
Until this law (KRS 436.140) was recently repealed, bikini-wearing women weighing between 90-199 pounds could not walk down a Kentucky highway without an officer or other professional guarding them.
The weight restrictions seem a bit odd, but we’re sure lawmakers’ intentions were in the right place and focused on the women’s protection.
Keep Your Ice Cream Cones in Your Pocket
Before automobiles changed the way we traveled, most of our ancestors got around on horseback. Along the way, some would-be travelers would spot someone else’s horse, and try to lure it away by putting an empty ice cream cone in their back pocket. True story.
Because of that, a law was written – one that still applies today – that forbids you to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.
You Shan’t Stink
Ok, this is a law everyone should agree with. All Kentucky citizens are required to shower at least once per year.
While today’s dermatologists say a shower every other day is best for your skin, many people make it part of their daily routine, easily meeting the annual requirement.
Three Times Is the Limit on Marriages
No word on why anyone would even consider doing so, but it’s against the law for a woman to marry the same man more than three times. One may think the relationship would be punishment enough.
You’re Sober Unless You Can’t Stand Up
That’s right, no matter how much you’ve had to drink, an old law says you’re still considered to be sober unless you cannot stand up. This law is even weirder when you consider Kentucky’s current drinking and driving laws.
Although many may look at this list as a filing of dumb laws in Kentucky, keep in mind that the majority of laws are passed as a reaction to a particular situation. Often, the laws are forgotten about as society moves on.
If you find yourself on the other end of the law, don’t laugh. Instead, contact a Louisville criminal defense attorney.