Louisiana is known for its good food, great music, a shared joie de vivre, and … weird laws? Louisiana’s legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code, as opposed to the rest of the country’s, which is based on English Common Law. What’s more, the unique history, culture, and wildlife of Louisiana have led to some truly unique laws on the books.
All of the following laws are still in Louisiana’s legal code, even though they’re not enforced. While breaking any of these probably won’t land you in hot water, in the unlikely event that they do, we recommend getting yourself a lawyer just in case.
- Don’t take what isn’t yours
In Louisiana, we’re known for two animals more than maybe any others: alligators and crawfish. Maybe that’s why stealing either can land you in jail for up to ten years or carry a fine of up to $3,000.
2. Don’t tie your alligator to a fire hydrant
We’re not sure we want to know why this law was written, but it’s illegal to tie your alligator to a fire hydrant in New Orleans.
3. No snakes at Mardi Gras parades
It’s a crime to have a snake within 200 yards of a Mardi Gras parade.
Breaking either of these laws could lead to a fine or even some jail time! Of course, we think the best option is just to leave your scaly pets at home.
While we Louisianans are known for our commitment to laissez-les bon temps rouler (letting the good times roll), we do have some restrictions on the books regarding food.
- No blood rituals
Ingesting blood or other bodily fluids during a ritual of any kind is prohibited in Louisiana. People breaking this law could be fined up to $25,000, or spend up to 25 years in jail.
- Limits on funeral food
If you’re attending a Louisiana funeral, you’re only allowed three sandwiches at the wake by law. We’re not sure what caused this law to be enacted, but be sure to bring a snack if you’re in the second line.
- Feed your hogs gourmet garbage
In Jefferson Parish, they also care about what their food eats: garbage and other food fed to hogs must be cooked on the premises beforehand.
Mardi Gras Mandates
To say Mardi Gras parades are an annual Louisiana tradition is selling them short—Mardi Gras is an institution in the Pelican State, so it’s not surprising that we have laws in place to keep the parades safe for everyone.
However, there are also some parade prohibitions that just seem silly.
7. Throwing safely
It’s illegal to throw Mardi Gras beads from a third story window or at a parade float, presumably to prevent injuries from occurring from falling beads.
8. Prophylactic Prohibition
Float riders are prohibited from throwing condoms to the crowd.
9. Reporter restriction
During a Mardi Gras parade, TV reporters are not allowed to throw anything to the crowd. Why? Your guess is as good as ours.
10. Mask requirements
It’s illegal to wear masks in public in Louisiana, except on Mardi Gras—then, if you’re on a float, it’s required.
Plain Wacky Pronouncements
Of course, just like any state Louisiana has laws that are just plain strange.
- False teeth assault
Biting someone with false teeth can be classified as aggravated battery, since false teeth count as a weapon, which is reasonable.
- Cursing curfew
A law likely leftover from a time when folks had more sensitive ears, it’s illegal to use obscene language while on the telephone in Sulphur.
- No voodoo
Practicing voodoo within New Orleans city limits is a fineable offense, so try to keep any magic rituals to a minimum when visiting the city.
- Minor mayhem
Minors can’t go to businesses with coin-operated foosball machines in Jefferson Parish without being accompanied by an adult. Wanting to get a round of foosball in after school? Make sure to bring a parent!
- No more cowbell
Cowbells are banned in Carencro. We’re not sure why, but it sounds like someone in Carencro had a bone to pick with these bovine bells.
Confused About Louisiana’s Laws? Call Gordon McKernan!
Even ignoring these ridiculous laws, the Louisiana legal code can be confusing. If you find yourself in need of legal help after any kind of accident, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation.
We’ve practiced law in Louisiana for 679+ years of combined legal experience, so we know the law inside and out. When you’ve been in an accident and need a legal advocate, the Get Gordon team has your back. Call us today.