CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Many states have odd laws on the books. Though they’re not usually enforced, they are often left in legal codes for years.
Here are some weirder West Virginia laws you may have broken without realizing:
§61-2-26 — Any time you abandon a refrigerator or food freezer appliance or other airtight appliance that is more than two feet tall, you are supposed to remove all entry doors from it first. The penalty calls for a fine of up to $200 and a jail sentence of up to six months.
§61-6-13 and §61-6-14 — It’s actually illegal to interrupt church service, Sunday school, or even a Fourth of July celebration in West Virginia. Under §61-6-13, West Virginians who willfully interrupt or disturb any congregation can be put in jail for as long as six months, and fined $25 to $100. Those who willfully interrupt or disturb schools, literacy societies or legal, organized celebrations of the Fourth of July could be jailed for as long as 30 days or fined between $10 and $50.
§61-8-10 — It’s illegal for healthcare professionals to administer anesthetics that result in sleep or total loss of sensation or consciousness to women in West Virginia unless a third person is present, but not if the patient is a man. The penalty is up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $100.
The West Virginia State Code used to include more weird laws, but in 2010, a bill was passed that repealed a lot of them. If you did any of these before 2010, it technically broke the law:
§61-1-6 — If you owned a red or black flag before 2010, it was illegal in West Virginia, as was any other flag that indicated “sympathy with or support of ideals, institutions or forms of government, hostile, inimical or antagonistic to the form or spirit of the constitution, laws, ideals and institutions of this state or of the United States.”
§61-6-16 — This law made it illegal to wear hats in theaters and places of amusement until it was repealed, along with several others, in 2010. The reason given, according to Justia, was to keep people from blocking the view of theatergoers behind them. The punishment for anyone found guilty of this misdemeanor was a fine between $2 and $10.
§61-8-4 — It was illegal for unmarried couples to “lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together” and they could be imprisoned for up to six months, and had to be fined at least $50.
§61-8-15 — This law made it illegal for “any person arrived at the age of discretion” to swear or get drunk in public. It was also repealed in 2010. The fine was $1 per offense.