Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Laws of West Virginia

Every state has their own set of Most Outrageous Laws. Lets have some fun with some of the most outrageous laws that I could find for West Virginia. 

I went on a search for the older Blue Laws for the State of West Virginia. West Virginia repealed the Prohibition law in 1933, but did you know that the state held onto a few of those old prohibition laws? For instance until the 1970's most
of West Virginia stayed under the many of the old Sabbath Laws. A few continue in existence today.

Blue Laws For West Virginia:

  1. No businesses shall open on Sunday. This law changed sometime in the mid to late 1970's. 
  2. No Sunday Sales of Liquor which is still in place today. Sale of beer and wine is allowed on Sunday, but only after 1 PM. This is an older Sabbath Law, that after one in the afternoon, people would be out of church. Now today some folks (I'm assuming those in the alcoholic groups) are demanding a change of this law. They want to be on the roads before the slow Sunday drivers get out of church.
  3. WV allows spirit tastings on premises such as bars and restaurants only. You just cannot set on your porch or in your backyard at your own home with an open beer, bottle of wine or liquor anymore.
  4. No Liquor Sales on Election Day This law is in place because politicians would bribe the destitute for votes. I'm thinking they do this anyway without this law in place.
  5. Liquor can be sold on every holiday except for Christmas Day Of course this is the one holiday when shots of alcohol are most needed. Just don't run out.
  6. Hunting on Sunday Another of West Virginia's "Blue Law" pertains to hunting. It is still illegal to hunt in 41 of 55 counties in WV on Sundays. Mine is one of em that is illegal.
  7. Adultery and fornication; penalty (61-8-3) If any person commits adultery or fornication, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty dollars. Adultery: "To lewdly and lasciviously associate" with anyone other than one's spouse is to be adulterous. It is a misdemeanor. This law was repealed in 2010.
  8. Alienation of Affection:  AKA the Broken Heart Law. This law was abolished in 1969
  9. Breach of Promise to Marry At one time it was against the law to propose to someone and then break the engagement off. Abolished in 2010
  10. It is not against the law to turn your wife over your knee for a spanking as long as you spank her in public, on a Sunday and on the courthouse steps
  11. Prohibition against marriage of persons related §48-2-302 People of West Virginia are always stereotyped and a lot of jokes pertaining to marrying kinfolk. In fact it is against the law to marry kin folk in this state. The two parties marrying even take an oath before getting a marriage license that they are not related.
West Virginia has strict laws pertaining to:
  1. False accusations of domestic abuse and sexual abuse. Both are felonies.
  2. Falsely accusing a man of being the parent to a child if he isn't the father OR False accusations of D.N.A. Make very sure you have DNA tests done and the man is in fact the father of a child before accusing him. This is a felony
  1. Display of red or black flag unlawful (61-1-6) 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.
  2. Profane Swearing in Public and Drunkenness ($1.00 fine imposed) (61-8-15) 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.
  3. Disqualification by dueling (61-5-7) 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.
  4. Taunting for nonparticipation in duel; penalty (61-2-24) 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.
  5. Animal Sex is Allowed By males only and as long as the animal weighs less than 40lbs
  6. Lewd and lascivious cohabitation and conduct; penalty; when persons presumed to be unmarried (61-8-4) 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.
  7. White and colored persons shall not be taught in the same school This law was repealed in 1994. 
  8. No child is allowed to go to school with breath smelling of wild onions
  9. 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.
  10. Excise tax on bottled soft drinks, syrups and dry mixtures; disposition thereof  (11-19-2)
  11. Wearing hats in theaters and places of amusement; penalty (61-6-16)
  12. Roadkill may be taken home for supper
  13. Whistling underwater is prohibited
  14. It is illegal to snooze on a train
  15. Forced Eugenics Law: Did you know that up until March of 2013 that West Virginia had a law that could force it's citizens to be sterilized? The law was repealed in 2013 You can read about it at. West Virginia's Forced Sterilization Law

Laws pertaining to specific areas in the state:

  1. Huntington, WV: Firemen may not whistle at women passing by the firehouse.
  2. In Alderson, WV: one may not walk a Lion, Tiger or Leopard, even if it’s on a leash
  3. Nicholas County, WV: No member of the clergy is allowed to tell jokes or humorous stories from the pulpit during a church service.
  4. Doctors and dentists may not place a woman under anesthesia unless a third person is present
  5. One can’t cook sauerkraut or cabbage due to the odors and the offence is subject to imprisonment.
  6. Dingess, WV: One cant have sex with your cousin after midnight
  7. Only babies can ride in a baby carriage
  8. Salem, West Virginia: It is against the law to eat candy less than an hour and a half before church service.
  9. Sistersville, WV it was discovered that an old law on the books there still prohibited women from voting in elections
  10. Berkeley County now has the Hoodie Law. It is against the law to wear the hood of a hoodie up over your head in public. 
You can read the Martinsburg City Code in the1800's which contains some interesting laws on the books for the city.

Do you know of any old laws that are still on the books for West Virginia? Leave it in a comment. I Would love to hear them and to include here. 

Resources for this post:

Information for this post was found at Dumb Laws 
West Virginia Legislature and Code
pic was found @ Google Images


  1. I never understood liquor laws. Just because you buy it in the morning doesn't mean you're going to drink in in the morning. Or maybe it does. I dunno. It's 5:00 somewhere!

  2. Spanking and dislike towards the smell of wild onions :D .... There are weird laws in Britain too: You can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow inside the city walls and after midnight.... Hahahahah. Lawmakers didn't always cut it either....

  3. They'd make a fortune if they enforced the adultery law.

  4. Good grief! So I can't send my kid to the bus stop with a bag of Funions, but I can screw the pooch after he/she leaves? Unless it's after midnight and the pooch is a close relative? That is whacked. Sure beats the one in Indiana where you can't walk down the street with an ice cream cone in your back pocket.

  5. I love that there was a law against broken engagements.


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