7 Dumb Michigan Laws That Will Make You Do a Double-Take

Hand signaling 'no'

Michigan, known for its beautiful Great Lakes, vibrant cities like Detroit, and rich automotive history, also has a quirky side hidden in its legal books. Among its many sensible laws, there are a handful of dumb Michigan laws that seem more fitting for a comedy sketch than the state‚Äôs legal system. In this article, we’ll dive into these absurdities, exploring 7 dumb laws in Michigan that are sure to leave you scratching your head.

No Selling Cars on Sundays

Michigan’s prohibition on selling cars on Sundays traces its roots to “blue laws,” which were originally enacted to encourage Sunday as a day of rest and worship. These laws were widespread in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Michigan, with its strong ties to the automotive industry, embraced this law as a way to uphold religious values.

Pros and Cons of the No Car Sales on Sundays Law

Honoring Sunday as a day of rest and worshipOutdated in a modern, 24/7 shopping culture
Promotes work-life balanceLimits consumer choices on weekends
Reflects historical valuesRestricts economic activity for car dealerships

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing the ban on car sales on Sundays in contemporary society presents several challenges. The automotive industry is no longer limited to a Monday-to-Saturday schedule, and many consumers prefer shopping on weekends. Car dealerships may lose potential customers due to this law. Additionally, the law imposes a burden on enforcement agencies to monitor compliance.

Relevance in Modern Society

In today’s 24/7 shopping culture, the prohibition of car sales on Sundays feels out of touch with reality. Consumers expect convenience and flexibility when making significant purchases like cars. While the law may have historical significance, its practicality and relevance in modern society are questionable.

No Cursing in Front of Women and Children

The law prohibiting swearing in front of women and children is perhaps rooted in notions of chivalry and public decorum. It likely aimed to maintain a respectful and polite atmosphere in public spaces.

Pros and Cons of the No Swearing in Front of Women and Children Law

Promotes respectful behaviorSubjective and challenging to enforce
Maintains decorum in public spacesInfringes on free speech rights
Protects the sensibilities of women and childrenLacks clarity in defining offensive language

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing this law poses significant challenges, primarily due to its subjective nature. Determining what constitutes offensive language can be highly arbitrary. Additionally, it may infringe on individuals’ free speech rights, raising concerns about its constitutionality.

Relevance in Modern Society

In contemporary society, the enforcement of a law against swearing in front of women and children seems impractical and outdated. With changing social norms and attitudes towards language, it is increasingly challenging to define and regulate offensive language. Most people today rely on personal discretion and etiquette rather than legal mandates to maintain respectful behavior in public.

Illegal to Kill a Dog Using a Decompression Chamber

Michigan’s law against euthanizing dogs using a decompression chamber reflects a noble intention to prevent cruelty to animals. Decompression chambers were once used as a method of euthanizing dogs, but this practice was deemed inhumane due to the suffering it caused.

Pros and Cons of the Ban on Decompression Chamber Euthanizing

Prevents cruelty to animalsSpecificity raises questions about other methods
Ensures more humane euthanasia practicesLimited relevance beyond dog euthanasia
Demonstrates the state’s commitment to animal welfareMay not address all aspects of animal cruelty

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing this law is relatively straightforward as it targets a specific method of euthanizing dogs. The law aligns with modern animal welfare principles that prioritize humane treatment. However, it raises questions about whether other methods of euthanasia are adequately regulated.

Relevance in Modern Society

The ban on euthanizing dogs using a decompression chamber aligns with contemporary attitudes towards animal welfare. While the law may seem specific, it serves as a symbol of Michigan’s commitment to humane treatment of animals. It is relevant in the context of ongoing efforts to improve animal welfare standards.

No Seduction of Unmarried Women

The law against seducing unmarried women has its roots in older notions of moral decorum and gender roles. It aimed to protect the virtue and reputation of unmarried women during a time when society placed a high value on a woman’s chastity.

Pros and Cons of the No Seduction of Unmarried Women Law

Historical protection of women’s virtueOutdated and sexist in modern society
Upheld traditional moral valuesInfringes on personal freedom and autonomy
Maintained social norms of the pastContradicts principles of gender equality

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing a law against the seduction of unmarried women in today’s society is impractical and ethically questionable. It infringes upon personal freedom and autonomy, contradicting modern principles of gender equality and individual rights.

Relevance in Modern Society

In contemporary times, this law is not only outdated but also glaringly sexist. Society has evolved to recognize and respect individual freedoms and personal choices. Such a law, which attempts to regulate personal relationships and consensual interactions, has no place in modern society and is often regarded as absurd.

No Crooked Pigs in Detroit

The law mandating that pigs in Detroit must be on leashes with rings in their noses is an intriguing example of specific legislation. While its origin is not always clear, such laws often emerged to address unique circumstances or concerns of the past. In this case, it may have been enacted to prevent pigs from wandering freely and causing property damage or disturbances in densely populated urban areas.

Pros and Cons of the Pig Leash and Ring Law in Detroit

Prevents pigs from causing nuisancesHighly specific and unusual law
Preserves urban order and cleanlinessMay not address modern urban challenges
Reflects historical urban management concernsLacks broader relevance in current society

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing this law might have been more practical in a historical context when Detroit was a different city with different challenges. In modern times, its relevance is questionable as urban management techniques have evolved, and such specific regulations are rarely enforced.

Relevance in Modern Society

The requirement for pigs to be on leashes with rings in their noses in Detroit appears to have lost its relevance in today’s urban environment. While it may reflect historical urban management concerns, it does not effectively address contemporary urban challenges. Modern urban planning and regulations have evolved to accommodate the changing needs of cities.

No Fishing for Whales in the Great Lakes

The law prohibiting fishing for whales in the Great Lakes is a rather unusual statute given that the Great Lakes are freshwater bodies, and whales are typically marine creatures. This law may have originated from a historical misunderstanding or an attempt to address poaching or overfishing of other aquatic species in the region.

Pros and Cons of the Whale Fishing Prohibition in the Great Lakes

Preserves the local aquatic ecosystemBased on a misunderstanding of local ecology
May have aimed to protect indigenous speciesLacks practicality due to the unsuitability of the environment
Reflects a commitment to environmental conservationHighly unlikely to be enforced

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing a ban on fishing for whales in the Great Lakes is highly impractical, given that whales are not found in freshwater environments. This law likely reflects a historical misunderstanding of local ecology and is unlikely to be enforced today.

Relevance in Modern Society

The prohibition on fishing for whales in the Great Lakes serves as a peculiar historical relic. It is neither relevant nor practical in contemporary society, as it is based on a misconception and the impracticality of the environment. Conservation efforts today focus on protecting indigenous species and preserving aquatic ecosystems in ways that align with current ecological knowledge.

No Whistling Underwater in a Bathtub:

Michigan’s law prohibiting whistling underwater in a bathtub is undoubtedly one of the quirkiest regulations in the state’s legal code. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, and it may have been created as a humorous or nonsensical law without a clear historical purpose.

Pros and Cons of the No Whistling Underwater Law

None, as the law lacks practicality and purposeHighly unusual and lacks a clear rationale
Reflects the whimsical side of legal historyHolds no practical relevance in modern society
May serve as a conversation starterCannot be enforced and lacks a serious purpose

Enforcement and Practicality

Enforcing a law against whistling underwater in a bathtub is not only impractical but also impossible. This law stands as a testament to the more whimsical and lighthearted aspects of legal history, and it holds no practical relevance in contemporary society.

Relevance in Modern Society

The law prohibiting whistling underwater in a bathtub is a prime example of an absurd and nonsensical regulation. It lacks a clear purpose or rationale and serves as a humorous oddity rather than a practical legal statute. In modern times, such laws are typically seen as relics of the past and are not taken seriously in the legal context.


While these dumb Michigan laws might seem irrelevant or amusing, they offer a glimpse into the past and reflect the ever-changing nature of societal norms. Though they’re unlikely to impact your day-to-day life, they certainly provide a good laugh and a topic for intriguing conversation. Remember, while the law is often serious business, there’s always room for a little bit of absurdity, especially in the realm of dumb Michigan laws.


Are these dumb Michigan laws still enforced?

While these laws are technically still on the books, their enforcement is rare, if not nonexistent. They’re often considered more as legal oddities than actively enforced rules.

Why do such dumb laws exist?

Many of these laws were created in different historical contexts, addressing specific issues of their time. As society evolves, some laws become outdated but remain unrevoked, turning into these dumb Michigan laws we know today.

Can I get in trouble for breaking these laws?

Although the likelihood of being penalized for breaking these laws is low, it’s technically possible. However, legal actions based on these outdated statutes are extremely rare.

How can a law be removed from the books?

A law can be repealed through legislative action. It requires lawmakers to recognize the need for change and take the steps to officially revoke the law.

Are there similar dumb laws in other states?

Yes, many states have their own set of outdated and dumb laws. They serve as humorous reminders of the peculiarities of legal history.

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