10 Weird Texas Laws to Know Before Your Road Trip
If you’re planning a trip to Texas, it might help to know some of the state’s weird laws. At least, they’re good entertainment.
These laws are still on the books officially. We imagine not all of them are strictly enforced, but why take chances?
Let’s take a look!
Texas Law #1: Selling Your Organs is Illegal
Texas Penal Code Section 48.02 has the guts to say it: selling (or buying) human organs is illegal. Blood and hair are a-ok.
You could get up to a year in jail for this class A misdemeanor if the judge or jury convicts you of selling an organ.
This isn’t only a weird Texas law, of course. In addition to being good common sense, this is also a federal law as of 1984.
People who donate organs for transplant are said to be giving gifts free and clear. Attaching money or items to the deal is what makes it illegal.
Texas Law #2: Better Not Dust a Building
Specifically, this weird Texas law says you can’t dust a building with a feather duster. We don’t know how many skirt this law with Swiffers or microfiber cloths.
But take heart: this only applies to public buildings. You’re free to make a day out of cleaning your home’s exterior with a feather duster. Why? Because you can.
Texas Law #3: You Need a Permit to Go Barefoot
This law only applies to specific cities, but you don’t want to get caught red-handed or bare-footed. As the law is written, sanitation and general appearance prohibit people from going barefoot in these towns.
Apparently, those concerns go away if you buy a $5 permit. The permit won’t get you out of wearing a shirt and shoes in stores, though.
Texas Law #4: Homemade Beer Recipes Aren’t Allowed
For a long time, homebrewing wasn’t legal in Texas. This law was on the books until 1983. Since then, you’re legally allowed to sell up to 200 gallons a year of your best porters and pilsners.
The ban on homebrewing was based on a mistake in federal law. When the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933, the writers simply forgot to include homebrewing. It remained illegal, then, though states made their own policies.
Pro Tip: If these weird laws haven’t turned you off of visiting Texas, check out these 11 Best RV Parks In Texas.
Texas Law #5: Please Don’t Milk My Cows
You can milk your cow, of course. But if you milk someone else’s cow, this is considered theft and can be punished with a $10 fine. We don’t know if it’s legal to milk someone else’s cow with consent from the owner.
Maybe get it in writing if they’re asking for your help.
Texas Law #6: Sidewalk Sitting Is a No-No
This is not a statewide law, but it’s a very explicit one. Laws banning sidewalk sitting (yes, it’s just what it sounds like) also prohibit bringing chairs or blankets to the sidewalk and sitting on those.
The law was introduced to preserve the flow of foot traffic on the sidewalk. People waiting to get into a business or waiting for a bus are exempt.
Still, we wonder how much of a problem sidewalk sitting ever was.
Texas Law #7: No Driving Without Windshield Wipers
It sounds reasonable to require drivers to have windshield wipers until you consider drivers aren’t required to have a windshield.
We don’t know where you should keep the wipers if you have no windscreen.
Texas Law #8: 24-Hour Notice to Commit a Crime
We wonder who thought this one up. To cut down on crime, you must give your would-be victim 24 hours’ notice before committing the crime.
And, if not giving the notice is also a crime, should you give 24 hours’ notice that you won’t be notifying your victim?
Texas Law #9: Keep Your Car Doors Closed
This law makes more sense than it seems on the surface. What this law really says is that you can’t open your car door into traffic.
You can still open the traffic-facing door if it doesn’t interfere with traffic.
Pro Tip: Don’t want to break any Texan rules? Follow these steps for How to Get a Texas Fishing License.
Texas Law #10: Single Men and Women, Be Warned!
This law is specific to San Antonio. It prohibits lewd acts like “flirting with the eyes or hands.”
We’d love to see a court case where a judge decides whether the defendant flirted with their eyes or simply had hay fever. As far as flirting with hands, keep your thumbs-ups platonic, please. San Antonio runs a clean shop.
Don’t Mess with Texas
As funny as these weird Texas laws are, some of them have practical back-stories. And some of them make such little sense we can’t imagine why they exist. But don’t mess with the Texas laws.
Give 24 hours’ notice before milking someone else’s cow, and the world will be a little safer.
Have you run across any other weird Texas laws?
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