If you currently reside in Ohio and think you’ve followed the state laws the whole time you’ve lived here, you may want to think again. While the specificity of some Ohio laws may make breaking them seem more like an accomplishment than a crime, others are so commonly done you may not even be aware that you are actually a criminal. Here are seven Ohio laws you may be breaking at this very moment!
1. It is illegal for more than five women to live in a house.
You probably have a guess for the reasoning behind this law, but unfortunately the more logical guesses, like fire or health codes, are incorrect. If you are currently living in a house with more than five females, it is considered by the law to be a (you probably didn’t see this one coming!) brothel. Although this law may seem outdated, it is a common issue female college students run into in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Good luck trying to open a sorority house with that written on the lease agreement!
2. Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public.
This may seem like the second consecutive law to restrict women, but in fact it originated to earn them respect. While limiting people by determining what they can and cannot wear may seem unreasonable, this law was created for fear that if women wore patent leather on their feet, men might catch a glimpse of their underwear in the reflections on their shoes! Keep this in mind next time you wear a skirt with your new patent leather flats or boots.
3. It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
Fish may be sober, but don’t worry guys, sloths are still down to party. BBC caused a whirlpool of confusion when they reported this law on their network. Since then, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources suggests that this law likely originated from another law which prohibits agricultural runoff from poisoning fish in waterways. Because grain silos may be fermenting, the fish may be intoxicated by alcohol before they are killed by the runoff. Make sure to save some water, and ONLY water, for the fishies!
4. You must honk whenever you pass another car.
Picture it. You’re winding peacefully down the open Ohio road when the shock of a loud horn almost (literally) drives you off of it. This is how driving in Ohio would be if Driver’s Ed. were taught the way the Ohio Driver’s Education Manual claims it should be. Aside from the danger this would cause in identifying real warnings on the road, it conflicts with multiple city laws. In Fairfield Park, it is illegal to honk your horn “excessively” and in Oxford, horn honking is not permitted at all, as it “might scare the horses”.
5. You may not run out of gas. (Youngstown, OH)
The driving laws in Ohio do not stop at the matter of horns. While it is not typically a wise idea to let your car run low on gas, in Youngstown, it is illegal. Most officers think of this law as outdated and therefore, do not abide by it, but technically they may give you a fine for being stranded! If you ever plan on driving through Youngstown, make sure to plan accordingly so that you get stranded in a surrounding area instead of in the city.
6. Power Wheels® cars may not be driven down the street. (Canton, OH)
Because Ohio is one of the most precautionary states in terms of road safety, the driving laws just continue to get more and more specific. This means less fun for kids who can’t wait to drive and even less fun for the parents of these children who come to the sad realization they cannot fulfil their childhood dream of hitching a ride in a barbie jeep. This, however, raises a very serious and controversial question: if a child is caught operating a Power Wheels® car in Canton, does the child receive the ticket or does the parent receive the ticket?
7. The installation and usage of slot machines in outhouses is prohibited. (Bexley, OH)
The citizens of Bexley, Ohio must have gotten very creative with their toilet-time entertainment at one point to result in a ban on outhouse slot machines. Forget smuggling contraband like drugs or alcohol into outhouses when you could be practicing your gambling skills! But if you do become a criminal and decide to install and/ or use a slot machine in your outhouse, props to you for fitting a metal slot machine in there while most of us struggle to squeeze in all our body parts at the same time.
Whether you’re innocent or a habitual offender, you should be aware of the laws in your state (if not for responsibility, at least for amusement!). Read up on laws, both current and outdated, and catch yourself up to date so you can save your careless friends from catching mice without their hunting licenses on them! Become a model citizen and get your ducks in a row (unless you are in McDonald, OH where it is against the law to parade your ducks down Ohio avenue)!