If you’re of the opinion that the federal government has instituted a fair number of weird, crazy or simply stupid laws over the years, it should come as no surprise to see that the seat of government (Washington, D.C.) can also claim some crazy laws of its own.


Here are some of the most offbeat laws on the books:

Personal conduct

  1. Citizens are not permitted to dance, sing, whistle or swear while at or anywhere near “a public convenience station.”
  2. It’s illegal to conduct or participate in a race, dance or other contest for longer than 12 hours in any consecutive 24-hour period.
  3. It’s possible to get a parking ticket for parking in your own driveway.
  4. You are legally forbidden to marry your mother-in-law in Washington, D.C.
  5. A person may not take the sexual organ of another person or animal in his or her mouth.

Public activity

  1. No dancing is permitted within the Jefferson Memorial.
  2. Speaking of dancing, women cannot be hired to dance with men.
  3. While you’re allowed to snap photographs in the District of Columbia, you can’t do so while standing longer than five minutes at any single location on the city’s sidewalks or other public places.
  4. Similarly, while you can exercise your right to freedom of speech (including lecturing or preaching to a public audience), you may not do so for more than 30 days in a row at a single location.
  5. Under D.C. law, you are not permitted to post a public notice that names someone a “coward” for refusing to accept a challenge to a duel.
  6. Small boys are forbidden to throw stones in Washington, D.C., for any reason.


  1. If you plan to herd sheep over a bridge between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., you must have at least six drovers in charge. In addition, a third of the bridge roadway must be kept free of sheep at all times.
  2. Any horse-drawn vehicle carrying freight on a D.C. street or highway “shall be equipped with an effective brake.”


  1. According to the U.S. government, it’s against the law to disseminate a false weather report.
  2. If you’re thinking of staging a boxing contest between opposite sexes, think again. It’s against the law in the nation’s capital.

What’s the dumbest law you’ve ever come across? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!



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