Weird laws youve probably never heard of – from drinking to driving and eating on the bus

Kit Malthouse the Policing Minister says law should be blind

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Laws have divided individuals for centuries, with tough consequences faced by those who chose to break the guidelines that govern Britons. While common laws around drinking and driving are well known across the country, there are plenty of weird and wonderful pieces of legislation that have come and gone. Here are some of the weirdest laws you’ve probably never heard of.

It’s illegal to be drunk at the pub

Though it may sound surprising, enjoying a few drinks at your local pub could land you in trouble if you take it too far.

Under the Criminal Justice Act of 1968, being drunk in a licensed premises – in other words a pub – is illegal in its own right.

Section 12 of the Licensing Act, 1872 also stipulates that “every person found drunk… on any licensed premises shall be liable to a penalty”, which currently stands at £200.

Serving an intoxicated person is also illegal under the 2003 version of the Licensing Act, which states that alcoholic beverages should not be sold to, or on behalf of someone who is already drunk.

It’s illegal to be drunk at the pub
Though it may sound surprising, enjoying a few drinks at your local pub could land you in trouble if you take it too far.
Under the Criminal Justice Act of 1968, being drunk in a licensed premises – in other words a pub – is illegal in its own right.
Section 12 of the Licensing Act, 1872 also stipulates that “every person found drunk… on any licensed premises shall be liable to a penalty”, which currently stands at £200.
Serving an intoxicated person is also illegal under the 2003 version of the Licensing Act, which states that alcoholic beverages should not be sold to, or on behalf of someone who is already drunk.

You can’t carry wooden plank along a pavement

Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act specifies that you are not allowed to carry a plank along a pavement in London, unless unloading a vehicle.

This strange ban is extended to hoops, wheels, ladders, placards and poles too, but it is only enforced within the Metropolitan Police District – excluding the City of London.

It is illegal to hold a salmon while ‘looking suspicious’

Perhaps the weirdest of them all, this law is outlined under section 23 of the Salmon Act, 1986 and covers the suspicious handling of fish.

The dated law was aimed at people selling fish through illegal means, rather than modern day loitering while holding a salmon.

You shouldn’t place stamps upside down

Placing a stamp upside down with the Queen’s head facing the wrong way is reportedly deemed as treason when it comes to posting letters.

According to the Law Commission’s Statute Law Repeals team, the Treason Felony Act 1848 makes it an offence to do any act with the intention of deposing the monarch, though Royal Mail has stated that it’s perfectly acceptable to place a stamp upside down.

Wearing a police outfit for halloween

Cops and robbers are one of the most well-known halloween fancy dress ideas, but it could land you in trouble.

By law, it is considered an offence to dress up as, or impersonate police or armed forces – in fact, doing so could land you a sentence.

This strange law is stipulated by the Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906, and the more recent Police Act 1996.

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You can’t legally jump the queue at a tube station

Transport for London by-laws state that people must “join the rear of the queue” if directed to line up by an authorised person or sign.

It is illegal to stare at naked mannequins

One of the oddest laws known to have existed in the UK is that it is illegal for any boy under the age of 10 to see a naked mannequin.

The Law Commission’s Statute Law Repeals team said: “This was cited as a law by a law firm in Swansea in 2006, but we have found no evidence of it.”

Women can’t eat chocolate on public transport

An obscure nineteenth-century English law made it illegal for women to eat chocolate after getting on a bus, though this is not known to exist today.

You’re breaking the law if you pay with your phone at a drive-thru

Drive through purchases are easy to do with just one tap of your card, phone or smart watch, but using your mobile device while the car engine is running could get you in trouble.

This is a new rule outlined in the Highway Code which states that drivers are banned from using their phones for anything while the engine is running – including payments at a drive-thru service.

This means anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

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