Law books are dense with convoluted legal jargon and obscure regulations, but every state has some laws that are completely outdated or irrelevant.

Richard Leiter, a law professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said there are several reasons for obscure laws, such as one that bars whale fishing in Nebraska.

Some laws become void by Supreme Court decisions, and the state legislatures don't go through the books to clean them up.

"If you go through any state or county or city laws, you'll find odds and ends that don't make sense," he said.

Some laws may also have been appropriate when they were written, but become outdated and irrelevant with time. Small towns may also have especially surprising laws enacted through their town government.

"A little town out in western Nebraska — 27 people — they elect a city council ... and they can pass laws on anything. They can make their city a nuclear-free zone if they wanted," Leiter said. "So sometimes it can be sort of tongue-in-cheek or it can be written to make a political statement." 

Nebraska State Laws:

Persons with gonorrhea may not marry.  

This law requires that, to marry, the fiancees must be at least 17 years old, but that "no person who is afflicted with a venereal disease shall marry in this state." This could be a problem for the 1,417 people with reported cases of gonorrhea in 2006, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of STD Prevention.

It is illegal to fly a plane while drunk.

Anyone operating or in control of an aircraft can not have "five-hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her body fluid." This limit is stricter than the .08 BAC allowed to drive a car.

If a child burps during church, his parent may be arrested.

It is illegal to go whale fishing.

There are, in fact, no whales in Nebraska. Not even in the zoo.

It is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.

It is illegal for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a state license.

City Laws:Lehigh:    

Doughnut holes may not be sold.

Omaha:

Sneezing is also illegal during a church service.

A man is not allowed to run around with a shaved chest.

Waterloo:

Barbers are forbidden from eating onions between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

 

 

andreavasquez@dailynebraskan.com