Alabama became the 22nd state in America on December 14, 1819. Over the years, the state has seen some crazy laws pass through the system.
We’ve combed through a list of Alabama’s craziest laws to find laws that are absolutely, 100 percent truth in the state of Alabama.
1) You Can Legally Marry your First Cousin (And Other Distant Relatives)
Americans love to poke fun at Alabama for its incest laws. Yes, incestuous marriage is legal across Alabama.
Alabama, like several other states in the South (Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia are the others) allows state residents to enter a legal marriage with their first cousin without restrictions (North Carolina also allows it, but with some restrictions).
Alabama also lets you marry your first cousin once removed, your half cousin, and your adopted cousin.
Don’t get too stressed out about this law: Alabama isn’t the only state to allow unrestricted cousin marriage.
You know which other states outside the South allow unrestricted first cousin marriage? California, Alaska, Hawaii, and even New York all allow you to marry your first cousin without restrictions. Mention that law the next time someone makes an Alabama joke at your expense.
2) You Cannot Legally Operate a Vehicle While Blindfolded
You just know that somewhere, at some point in Alabama’s history, somebody tried to operate a vehicle while blindfolded. And that’s why they made this law.
It’s true: according to Section 32-5A-53, you cannot legally operate a vehicle in Alabama while blindfolded.
That same law also prohibits you from having so many people in the front part of your car that you cannot see.
3) It’s Illegal to Play Cards or Games in Alabama on Sunday
Did you ever sit around on a lazy Sunday and play board games or a game of cards with your friends? According to Alabama, you’ve violated the law and could be sentenced to “hard labor for the county” for up to 3 months.
It’s true: Alabama’s laws (Section 13A-12-1) forbid a surprising range of activities on Sundays. Here’s what the law has to say:
“Any person who compels his child, apprentice or servant to perform any labor on Sunday, or who engages in shooting, hunting, gaming, card playing or racing on that day, shall be fined not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail, or sentenced to hard labor for the county, for not more than three months”
The next time you pick up a deck of cards on a Sunday afternoon, think again: you might be sentenced to three months of hard labor and a whopping $100 fine.
4) You Can Legally Drive the Wrong Way Down a One Way Street (As Long As You Have a Lantern Attached to your Vehicle)
One-way streets can be scary when you’re in a big, unknown city. But if you keep a trusty lantern attached to the front of your vehicle, then you really have nothing to worry about.
According to DumbLaws.com, it is legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street in Alabama if you have a lantern attached to the front of your automobile.
5) Bear Wrestling is Banned Across Alabama
Have you ever seen a bear-wrestling match in Alabama? There’s a reason why you answered “no” to that question.
Bear wrestling matches were a big deal in the early days of Alabama.
In fact, bear wrestling matches were so popular that the state of Alabama had to add a specific section about “bear exploitation” that specifically forbids you from engaging in bear wrestling matches. Seriously - the words “bear wrestling match” are on Alabama’s law books.
The law under Section 13A-12-5 specifically states that someone “commits the offense of unlawful bear exploitation if he or she knowingly does any one of the following: (1) Promotes, engages in, or is employed at a bear wrestling match.”
It’s also illegal to receive money in exchange for viewing a bear-wrestling match. If you were thinking of training a bear for an upcoming wrestling match, then think again: it is also illegal to sell, purchase, possess, or train a bear for bear wrestling.
If you violate any of these bear exploitation laws, you’ll be charged with a class B felony. Your bear will be seized and placed in the custody of a humane shelter.
Don’t Let Crazy Laws Scare You Away from Alabama:
If you look at any state’s record books, you’ll find plenty of evidence of crazy laws. Alabama’s incest laws look crazy until you realize that New York and California also legally allow marriage between first cousins.
Don’t let our crazy laws scare you away from moving to Alabama! If you’re looking for a Huntsville moving service that charges honest rates and has decades of local experience, then Lambert Relocation is Huntsville, Alabama’s top choice.