Crazy Wyoming Laws You (Probably) Don’t Know
There are federal laws, and then there are the state laws. These laws are created by state legislatures and can vary from state to state, but most laws are logical. While a statute on robbery in California may differ slightly from the statute in Wyoming, both still make sense.
Sometimes, though, there are laws on the books that do not make any sense at all. These generally remain from a time when they, too, were considered practical laws. In most cases, people simply forgot about them or never bothered to remove them.
Wyoming has some fairly crazy laws that are still on the books. If you violate one of these laws, you may not be charged at all. On the other hand, you may find yourself in trouble for breaking a law you didn’t even know existed!
Crazy Laws Pertaining to Alcohol
Wyoming has a few unusual and oddly specific laws pertaining to alcohol. For example, it is illegal to be drunk in a mine. While the penalty is steep—up to one year in jail—it may be necessary. Wyoming has been the largest producer of coal in the country since 1988, and still has over a dozen mines producing in large volumes. Mines are already dangerous work environments, so it’s best to keep your wits about you when inside one.
It is also illegal to ski while intoxicated in Wyoming. Again, skiing accidents can happen all too easily, so it’s probably best to remain sober while skiing, even if a flask can warm you up.
A junk dealer may not do business with a person who is drunk. The law states that a person, firm, or corporation is prohibited from buying or selling junk metals, rubber, rags, or paper from someone who appears to be drunk. Business may also not be conducted with someone who is a known thief, or a person who has been convicted of larceny.
Perhaps Wyoming’s craziest law on alcohol, though, is that it is illegal for a woman to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking. The reason for this law is unknown, but it’s unlikely to be enforced if a woman is found to be too close to a bar with a drink in her hand.
Miscellaneous Wyoming Laws
A law that is often touted as being crazy in Wyoming is that new buildings that cost over $100,000 must allocate 1% of spending on artwork for the building. This law is commonly misquoted as stating “all” new buildings must comply. In reality, the law only pertains to government buildings that are being funded by the state.
Another Wyoming law that may seem a bit strange is that it is illegal to wear a hat that obstructs people’s view in public theaters or places of amusement. But, after all, it’s common courtesy to remove a tall hat.
Be warned that it is illegal to use a firearm to fish in Wyoming. In fact, fish can’t be hurt in any way with a firearm, even after they have been removed from the water. In the same piece of legislation, it also states that no fish can be “snagged” from the water—removed in any manner other than by voluntary taking the bait in its mouth.
Fences are taken very seriously in Wyoming. Failing to close one behind you could get you charged with a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $750. This sounds extreme at first, but there is a reason for it. Wyoming is a state of ranches, with lots of cattle around. When a fence on a ranch property is not properly closed, these animals can get out and cause all sorts of trouble, including livestock traffic accidents.
The Myth Around Wyoming’s “Craziest” Law
It has been circulated on the Internet that Wyoming had a crazy law saying it is illegal to take photographs of rabbits from January until April. And it was true! The law was created in 1921 and included ANY form of wildlife. Those who wanted to take pictures needed to apply for a permit, and have a game warden accompany them on the photoshoot.
This law was amended in 1969 to specifically state that commercial photographers needed a permit to take wildlife pictures. With this knowledge, the law does make a bit more sense. However, this law has been taken off the books completely, which means someone in the state of Wyoming found this to be one crazy law, indeed.
It’s important to know the laws of your state, because ignorance is not a defense to an arrest. While some people may think these laws are crazy, they can still be enforced. If you get into trouble, talk to the trial attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. We know all the local laws, crazy and otherwise, and we’ll go to work to keep you far away from jail or hefty fines. Call (307) 257-7800 today for a free consultation with criminal defense lawyer in Gillette!
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