As the late English novelist Arnold Bennett once said: “It’s a jolly strange world.” And though Bennet was referring to his marriage, he could just as easily have been referring to the Georgia legal code.
All states have strange laws. Sometimes the laws are strange because they’re outdated, other times the laws are strange because they’re... well... strange.
Regardless of the reason, Georgia has its fair share of strange laws. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest.
The 10 weirdest laws in Georgia
- When was the last time you rode a llama? If you’re a frequent llama-rider, you might want to know that people who suffer personal injuries when engaged in “llama-related activities” are responsible for any injuries they suffer under Georgia’s “inherent risk of llama activities” statute. (Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 4-12-3)
- Got milk? If the sheriff impounds a milk cow or milk goat, Georgia law requires someone at the sheriff’s office to milk the cow or goat 2 times per day. Though this might seem like a strange law, it’s actually quite considerate when you think about it. (Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 4-3-9).
- Short people rejoice! In Columbus, a local ordinance prohibits people from wearing hats in the theater. (Columbus Code of Ordinances § 14-28)
- For public safety reasons, it’s illegal to wear a hood in public in Dublin, Georgia. (Thank goodness it’s not illegal to wear a mask.) (Dublin Code of Ordinances § 14-3)
- Fortunately for the sake of people’s eyes, it’s illegal to use an “Alabama slingshot” or any other slingshot while downtown in Athens. (Athens Code of Ordinances § 3-5-16)
- Burglars beware! In Kennesaw, the heads of the household are, with certain exceptions, actually required to keep a firearm in their home. (Kennesaw Code of Ordinances § 34-21)
- Perhaps the right choice in a town with a university, it’s illegal to sell 2 beers for the price of 1 in Columbus. (Columbus Code of Ordinances § 3-12)
- In further interest of keeping college kids home studying, bars are prohibited from having “ladies nights” in Columbus. (Columbus Code of Ordinances § 3-12(1(d))
- Why did the chicken cross the road? If the chicken was in Quitman, it was probably because the chicken was an outlaw. In Quitman, it’s illegal to let your chicken cross the road or, more generally, run at large along the streets. (Quitman Code of Ordinances § 8-1).
- Maybe it’s a good thing the Atlanta Falcons lost the Super Bowl in 2017. In Atlanta, it’s illegal to shout, whistle, or hoot on public streets or sidewalks at a volume that can be heard 100 or more feet away. (Atlanta Code of Ordinances § 74-131).
The law, commonly called the “move-over law” is common courtesy, but it may also protect you from liability should you sideswipe the emergency vehicle or, even worse, collide with emergency personnel.
Are strange laws enforced?
If a law is on the books, it can be enforced. With that being said, many strange laws are outdated or passed as publicity stunts and stand little to no chance of being enforced.
For example, the city of Gainesville passed an ordinance in 1961 making it illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork. The law was passed as a public relations stunt intended to promote the city of Gainesville as the poultry capital of the world.
In 2018, a 91-year-old woman was “arrested” at the Longstreet Cafe for violating the ordinance, but she was quickly pardoned by the mayor who was present in the cafe. The arrest was a practical joke intended to promote the town’s annual Spring Chicken Festival.