Legally Laughable: Top 11 Weirdest Laws in North Carolina

Weird laws abound across the United States. In Alabama, you could get busted for wearing a fake mustache in church. Washington State has made it illegal to harass Bigfoot, buy a mattress on Sundays, and sleep in an outhouse—unless it’s your own outhouse, that is. Wondering what weird laws North Carolina has on the books? You definitely won’t be disappointed. Let’s take a look at the strangest laws to hit the state over the years.

No Happy Hour Discounts on Drinks Allowed

Looking for discounted drinks after work? If you’re in North Carolina, you’re out of luck. Happy hour specials are limited to food discounts only, whether dining at a restaurant or chilling at your favorite bar. By banning these promotions, the law aims to discourage excessive drinking. So, be prepared to pay full price whenever you want a drink.

Want to Borrow a Horse? Forget About It

It just makes good sense that stealing a horse is illegal in the Tar Heel State, and well, everywhere else for that matter. But what about borrowing one and returning it good as new later on? Surprise, surprise, that’s a no-go as well unless you first get the owner’s explicit permission first. This law dates back to when horses were the main form of transportation. Unauthorized use of someone else’s horse could severely disrupt their day, so skip the joyrides on a borrowed steed.

Keep Your Mitts Off the Kitchen Grease

It might sound odd, but in Raleigh, stealing used kitchen grease is not just frowned upon; it’s outright illegal. While it might seem to link back to cleanliness, this law is all about commerce. Used kitchen grease is a valuable resource that can be processed and sold to biofuel producers. With the rise of green energy solutions, it’s now worth a pretty penny, leading to the need for legal protections.

Don’t Dare Collect Pine Needles and Pine Straw

The lush pine forests in North Carolina look like they have enough needles and straw for everyone. Despite that, it’s illegal to tread onto private land to rake them up and haul them out of there. That’s because the pine needles and pine straw get used for landscaping, resulting in problematic trespassing incidents. So, leave the tree debris where it falls and find another way to get your landscaping materials.

Leave the Plowing to the Horses, Not the Elephants

Have you ever been tempted to plow your land in North Carolina with help from an elephant? Although that might seem unlikely, someone clearly did because it’s now illegal in Nags Head. This law may have its roots in times past when traveling circuses decided to put their elephants to work during the off-season. But it’s not entirely clear what led to the ban. In any case, leave the plowing to the horses to avoid breaking this zany law.

Highway Rollerblading Can Land You in Hot Water

How do you regularly get to work? Likely not by rollerblading down the highway. Even so, the state decided to make this strange activity illegal just in case someone gets it in their mind to do so. The reason why is clear, though. Between the high speeds and heavy traffic, trying to skate down the highway would be dangerous at best and deadly at worst.

Skip Walking on the City Water Tank—or Else

Henderson greatly values its water supply, so it’s no wonder that they’ve gone ahead and created a law to protect its city water tank. Climbing or walking on the tank is prohibited to ensure the water source remains uncontaminated and safe for consumption. It’s also effective in preventing people from scaling the tall structure and falling to their doom.

Plan to Motor Down the Sidewalk? Think Again

Sidewalks in Chapel Hill are a pedestrian-only affair. If you’re caught trying to motor down those avenues, you can expect to get hit with a citation at the very least. It’s not just cars, trucks, and vans that cannot drive on the sidewalk—it’s also motorbikes, ATVs, and all the other motorized vehicles in the world.  Whether it’s children playing or adults taking a stroll, this law ensures that sidewalks remain a safe space for all.

Keep Your Rock Throwing Adventures Out of the Streets

If you like to see how far you can throw rocks, you must select the right place to enjoy this activity, like an open field or in your backyard. Choose to throw stones while on North Carolina’s public streets, and you’re bound to land in hot water. This is especially true if the rocks sail toward any people, animals, or vehicles in your midst.

Stay Out of Trouble by Skipping the BINGO Marathons

Love BINGO? In North Carolina, you must still keep your games short and sweet. State law prohibits BINGO games from lasting more than five hours, cutting the fun short for diehard gaming enthusiasts. You can come back the next day for another round, though. So, there’s always more BINGO fun to be had. This regulation ensures the game remains a leisurely recreational activity while preventing excessive gambling.

Better Stay in Key When Belting Out Your Tunes

Music is a cherished form of expression, but singing off-key in public places is a terrible idea in North Carolina. Even if you’re trying your best, the off-key tunes only have to hit the wrong ear to result in legal challenges. This interesting law emphasizes the importance of harmony in music and public life. But it’s not entirely fair, of course, as not everyone’s born pitch-perfect.

Although these laws are still in effect, that doesn’t mean they’re well enforced. However, it’s probably not worth taking the chance anyway. So, heed the weird laws and the regular ones to stay out of trouble while visiting North Carolina.