Atlanta, GA

9 of Atlanta's strangest laws

Ash Jurberg

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Recently I have been researching the strange laws passed in each major city in the USA. As I came to my turn to write about Atlanta, I was pleased to see that Atlantia is no exception. Atlanta and, in fact, many towns in Georgia have a lot of obscure and strange laws. Although many were passed a long time ago and are rarely enforced, they are still laws.

So to ensure the readers of Atlanta don't accidentally do anything illegal, please find below nine super weird Atlanta laws that you don't know about.

1. While the Georgia State Assembly is in session, no Assembly member can receive a speeding ticket. I guess you can hitch a ride with them and go as fast as you like.

2. It is illegal to honk your horn at a fair in Atlanta. I wonder how many angry drivers turned up to fairs and honked their horns before this was passed.

3. A statute covers "llama-related activities" (Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 4-12-3). It states that anyone riding a llama is liable for any injuries they suffer. I have never seen anyone in Atlanta riding a llama, so perhaps the risk is not worth the reward.

4. Ever had your cow or goat impounded? If so, then you can force the sheriff's office to milk the cow or goat two times per day. This is covered in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 4-3-9. At least you still get your daily milk even while your animal is impounded.

5. In Atlanta, it's illegal to shout, whistle, or yell on public streets or sidewalks at a volume that can be heard 100 or more feet away. Apparently, 99 feet away is OK according to the Atlanta Code of Ordinances § 74-131.

6. You will need to mind your language when attending funerals in Atlanta. It is illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body that lies in a funeral home or in a coroner's office. I guess they don't want to offend the dead?

7. You can be pulled over by the police for going the speed limit. This is stated in Georgia Code Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 40-6-184, otherwise known as the "Slowpoke Law." It states that drivers in the left lane of a highway in Georgia much change lanes or speed up if a faster car approaches them from behind. As someone who often gets stuck behind a slowpoke driver, I actually love this law.

8. Atlanta Municipal Code prohibits vaudeville performers from telling "coarse jokes." That would rule out most of my favorite comedians.

9. Any 13 or 19-year-olds wishing to attend a teen dance in Atlanta are out of luck. Atlanta Municipal Code states that anyone attending a teen dance must be between 14 and 18 years old.

These laws are a little weird, but there are even stranger laws in other cities across Georgia. For example, in Quitman, it is illegal to let your chicken cross the road, which is bad for chickens and corny joke tellers. While in Kennesaw, all homeowners must keep a firearm in their homes. And in Dublin, it is illegal to wear a hood.

And then there is the city of Gainesville. In 1961 they passed an ordinance it illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork. Anyone who wanted to eat fried chicken had to eat it with their bare hands. However, this was just done to raise awareness of Gainesville and promote the city as the world's poultry capital.

So how many of Atlanta's laws have you inadvertently broken? Hopefully, you have never cursed at a funeral or on stage as a performer, or you will are a lawbreaker!

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