42 Unexpected Ways to Get Arrested Around the World

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From laws against driving while wearing flip-flops to the three French towns where it's illegal to die, here are 42 obscure laws around the world.

Police Municipale is controlling the traffic in Cannes, France Photo © iStock/omersukrugoksu

There are laws we can all get behind (physics, to name one) but also laws that just seem to make no sense. Whether they are holdovers from different eras or knee-jerk reactions to some newly perceived threat, there are some laws around the world you could innocently break while traveling and end up dealing with the authorities.

Countries where camouflage clothing is illegal 

  • It is illegal to wear camouflage clothing in several countries in the Caribbean including JamaicaBarbados, St. Lucia, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. in Africa, it can't be worn by anyone who is not in the military in  Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It's also outlawed in Saudi Arabia, Philippines and Oman. 

Four laws you didn't know were in place in Mexico

  • It's illegal to shout offensive words in any public place in Mexico
  • If you're on a bike, you must keep both feet on the pedals
  • Any kind of nude artistic display is verboten
  • Drinking alcohol on the street.

From Spain to Austria: 13 unusual laws across Europe


  • It's against the law to drive while wearing flip-flops
  • In Barcelona, you can be fined for wearing swimwear anyplace other than the beach, as well as for spitting.


  • Anyone using - or pretending to use - witchcraft, sorcery or enchantment, can face a year in jail.


  • It is illegal to kiss while riding on a train
  • It's illegal to take pictures of police officers or police vehicles, even if they're just in the background
  • You must wear Speedo-style bathing suits that leave nothing to the imagination to go swimming in many pools. They're seen as more hygienic than loose board shorts
  • In three towns it is against the law to die. These ordinances were passed as a protest when the creation of new cemeteries was denied.


  • It's illegal to run out of gas on the autobahn, as well as to walk along it.


  • You cannot flush a toilet in an apartment building after 10pm.


  • You can be fined and/or booted off a train if you are making out or eating something considered too smelly.


  • In Florence, you can be fined for eating or drinking on the steps of a church
  • In Venice, it is illegal to feed the pigeons
  • In Eraclea, it is illegal to build sandcastles and collect seashells.

24 laws you didn't know about in the USA

Weird laws in Florida

  • An unmarried woman cannot go skydiving on a Sunday
  • It is illegal to sing while wearing a bathing suit
  • Oral sex is illegal
  • It's illegal to skateboard without a skateboarding license. This one is still on the books but not enforced
  • Missionary is the only legal sexual position.


  • It's illegal to be wearing just swim trunks in public
  • You must wear a seatbelt when riding in the backseat of a car, but you can ride in the back of a pickup truck without any safety equipment
  • You can only have one alcoholic drink in front of you at any given time.


  • Cutting down a cactus can get you 25 years in jail
  • It's against the law to refuse to give someone a glass of water
  • If you are attacked, you can only protect yourself with the same kind of weapon your attacker has.


  • In New Orleans, you cannot throw anything from a window or balcony that is more than 8 feet above the ground
  • New Orleans also mandates you keep at least one hand on your bike handlebars at all times.

North Carolina

  • If an unmarried man and woman register at a hotel as a married couple, they are legally married
  • If you're caught in possession of illegal substances, you have to pay a tax on them. That's $3.50 per gram for pot and $50 for each gram of cocaine.

South Carolina

  • It's a misdemeanor for a man to seduce a woman by "means of deception and promises of marriage," punishable by up to a year in jail
  • In Myrtle Beach it is illegal to change into a bathing suit in any public bathroom without the consent of the property owner or manager.


  • Galveston has sit/lie laws that will get you a $500 fine for blocking sidewalks
  • Galveston will also not permit offensive language and "unruly conduct" at events.


  • Unmarried sex is a misdemeanor
  • In Richmond, it's illegal to flip a coin in a restaurant to see who pays for the meal
  • In Virginia Beach, if you're too drunk to drive your car and allow another person who is also drunk to drive, you are both subject to DUIs
  • It's illegal to ride on the handlebars of a bike in Virginia Beach
  • In Virginia Beach, it is illegal to curse on Atlantic Avenue and the boardwalk. It's also illegal to drive past the same location on Atlantic Avenue more than once within 30 minutes.

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  • shasho said


  • jérémie said

    Apart for the kissing in the train story, the rest of what you write is ranging from very discutable to totally fake.
    Some of the rules mentioned for other countries also apply in France (wearing flip-flops driving a car or running out of gas on the highway).
    Good luck compiling good information, not easy to do, but you should rely on locals who know their stuff to be sure!

  • deken minter said

    can you add strange facts of haiti

  • Eliana said

    In Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas. (learned that the hard way) lol

  • Zack said

    What's the punishment for dying the death penalty lol.

  • lucien said

    the arizona law about having to give people water is fake

  • Angela Baecht said

    Everything about Virginia Beach is true I'm a Virginia Beach native born and raised but yes handlebars it's fine cruising the Atlantic avenue in a car more than one time in 30 minutes it's a charge there's a lot of laws in Virginia Beach that's not in force but if you run across the right cop they will get you

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