Most Unusual Laws of Britain

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The laws of the 1300’s are still in effect in Britain, and its legal system is the product of centuries of laws made, amended and overturned. But some remain despite calls for their repeal. And the reality is that anyone can probably broken at least a few: –

  • All stranded sturgeons or whales must be given to the reigning monarch. King Edward II made this law over seven centuries ago and still is. Sturgeons or whales are regarded as royal fish and if they are found in British waters, they belong to the Queen Elizabeth II.
  • It is against the law to drink in the pub. Under section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872, anyone found drunk in a licensed premise is liable to a penalty. It is also an offense under the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 for the keeper of a public house for allowing drunkenness or disorderly behavior in their the premises. Further, under the Licensing Act 2003, it is an offense to sell alcohol to an intoxicated person or to acquiring alcohol for consumption by a drunken person.
  • It is against the law to handle salmon under suspicious circumstances. This bizarre law was passed in 1986 and is part of a larger law that includes the possession of salmon that have been illegally caught, killed or landed. But the way the law is worded gives the impression that you might be apprehended on your way back to the fishmonger.
  • Members of Parliament are not allowed to wear armor in Parliament. Another law of Edward II, this rule was put in place in times of political instability.
  • It is against the law to be drunk and in charge of cattle in England and Wales. Rightly so, a big cow can weigh as much, if not more, than a car.
  • It is against the law to activate your alarm system without first having nominated a key holder who can turn it off in your absence. A key holder must be able to respond within twenty minutes of the call to silence the alarm.
  • As per the Police Act of 1996 and the Seamen’s and Soldiers False Characters Act of 1906, it is against the law to pretend to be in the armed forces or the police. If anybody caught, he/she can suffer custodial sentence.
  • Under the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847, a person cannot maintain a pigsty in front of their property unless it is hidden from public sight.
  • Although it is sung by billions of people around the world, “Happy Birthday” is actually copyrighted if used commercially.
  • It is against the law to drive unless you have removed all the frost from your entire windscreen, not just the viewing area. Anybody can also be fined for failing to remove snow from the roof of your vehicle before driving.
  • If you bend over to pay with your phone during a drive-thru while your car is still running and your handbrake is unlocked, you are technically using your phone while driving a car, which is illegal.