Every state has strange laws in place that make people laugh or scratch their heads when they see them, and Indiana is no exception.
Many of these laws are relics of a bygone day that aren’t relevant anymore but simply were never repealed. Other times, they have a logical explanation for why the legislature thought they were necessary, that may not be immediately apparent when read out of context.
Either way, it can be fun to read and have a laugh at some of the Hoosier state’s most unusual statutes.
Coasting in neutral
Section 9-21-8-44 of the Motor Vehicle Code makes it illegal to coast down a hill in neutral or with your clutch disengaged when driving. The justification for this law is likely safety. If you are in neutral, your ability to react quickly to unexpected road conditions is lowered. It could also be because, contrary to popular belief, coasting in neutral does not save gas – it uses more.
Section 14-22-9-1 of the Natural and Cultural Resources Code forbids you from fishing with your bare hands – or with the use of a firearm, dynamite or poison. Although those instruments might seem a bit excessive, you also cannot use a regular net for fishing. You’ll have to stick to a good old line and hook.
Section 7.1-3-10-5 of the Alcohol and Tobacco Code regulates what Indiana liquor stores can sell. If a liquor store sells water or soda, they must be warm – they cannot be in a refrigerator or iced.
There are also some unusual ordinances that are city-specific, not statewide. For example, Gary’s city ordinances prohibit someone from carrying dead animals through the street. Warsaw’s code prohibits its residents from throwing snowballs within city limits. In Muncie, it’s illegal to go fishing in the city cemetery.
There are many strange laws on the books in Indiana. The state legal system still enforces some, while others they do not – even though these laws are fun to read about.