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5 of the Weirdest (and Totally Real) Illinois Laws

Have you ever been pulled over, given a ticket, or cited for something you didn’t even know was a law? Or, better yet, have you ever been watching a show that made you giggle or grimace because somebody was arrested and charged for a strange ordinance that seemed made up?

After much amusement and frustration, I decided to look up some of these questionable ordinances. So, I am going to bring to you some of the funniest and dumbest laws still in place in the lovely state of Illinois today. Whether these make you laugh, frown, or cry you are sure to learn something!

#5: In the city of Champaign, the law states one may not pee in his neighbor’s mouth. At first I thought, “Oh really? Like we couldn’t figure this out on or own?” But then I remembered that Champaign is a college town, so you never really know…

#4: In Chicago, the law forbids people to eat in a place that is on fire. That must be for those folks out there who were pondering running into a burning building to roast marshmallows and whatnot! Also, all businesses entering into contracts with the city must go through all their records and report any business they had dealing with slaves during the era of slavery. This one is an understandable and valid law. 

#3: It’s prohibited to hum on public streets on Sundays in Cicero. You’d better keep your catchy tunes to yourself around those parts!

#2: Anyone out there who resides in the city of Collinsville, Illinois? Please be aware that it is illegal to wear sagging pants. The actual text of the law states, “Pants are required to be secured at the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than 3 inches below the hips; causing exposure to the person or the person’s undergarments.” This ordinance only applies to pants worn on public property, but violators are fined $100 and required to perform community service. For anyone wanting to be a daredevil and break the ordinance again, the fine raises to $300 as well as racking up additional community service.

#1: All of these are odd, but I would have to say my favorite senseless law in the state of Illinois belongs to the city of Joliet. If you’re a little hesitant to pronounce the name, it is to be said as Joliet (Joe-lee-ETTE). Be careful when you visit, though, because mispronouncing the city name as (Jolly-ETTE) is a misdemeanor in Joliet, and also punishable by a $5 fine.

These are only a few of the “WTF” laws still in place today in the state of Illinois. I can only imagine the laws and ordinances that are in place in the other 49 states! It’s amazing what some officials and law makers put on the books years ago and forgot all about. So, the next time you are driving through any of these towns, or in Illinois in general, be extra careful because you never know which bizarre laws you may be breaking. Oh, and be especially careful when planning any marketing campaigns!

Which of these laws surprised you the most? Are there more bizarre laws that you’ve heard of?

Image credit to Justus Koshiol, Malingering, and


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  1. Mandy Kilinskis

    Wow! I had no idea that Joliet was so sensitive about the way their name is pronounced. Nothing says, “Learn how to say our name right!” like a fine!

    And as for that law in Champaign… I’m sure that there’s a very good few (thousand) reasons for that one. Fun blog topic, Candice! I don’t think I would’ve believed them if they weren’t in print!

    • Candice J.

      I wouldn’t have believed them either and almost didn’t! After a lot more research then I planned I finally figured out they were real. I never knew Joliet took it to heart when people mispronounce their name. But from personal experience I can tell you I HATE when people mispronounce anything especially a name! I mean really, how can you mispronounce Candice?!? But people still do. And well Champaign, that’s a horse of a different color. After living there for 2 years for college, I can def. see why they would have to put that one in print. Sad, but true. Thanks for commenting!

      • Mandy Kilinskis

        You’re preaching to the choir here about people that can’t pronounce your name. 🙂

  2. Lisa B.

    Um, does that only apply to neighbors, or are you allowed to pee ……….oh never mind.

    • Candice J.

      Ha-Ha, it doesn’t specifically state it only applies to neighbor’s but lets hope the spectrum for that applies to everything but a toilet! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  3. Jen

    Do they throw you in jail on Sundays if you’re caught singing on the street in Cicero? Crazy! I like this blog Candice, very funny 🙂

    • Candice J.

      I don’t know Jen, that’s a good question! Maybe I’ll pay a test subject to go find out for us. Only problem is I might not have enough bail money if they do! I don’t think many people will volunteer to be my test subject after knowing these facts!

  4. Jaimie Smith

    WOW!! this is just rediculous!! The whole peeing thing. Gross. Yes it is a college town,and i know crazy shit happens when you party, but let me tell you, you could never get me to the point, or even pay me to the point of letting somebody pee in my mouth. thats just disgusting.
    The only reason I could maybe see being in effect is due to people doing this to people whom are passed out or something and doing it as a joke to their friend, and that prank going totally wrong. But still…redicious.
    And the fire one?? Okay if anyone wants to eat in a builing being set on fire, then i feel we should just let them just for being dumb. And how exactly do they plan on fining them if half of them burned to death. Or even the ones who did survive and make it out “oh heres a fine to add to a million dollar hospital bill” Again, rediculous.

    And as far as Joliet goes, who do they think they are to be important enough to fine someone for mis pronouncing their name? It happens. People misspell my name all the time, so i cry about it no? Mispronunciations are very common, and it is rediculous they would make that a law.

    pheww…a lot of ranting there lol. Anyway, nice post Candice!! Def interesting to know all these random laws. Now I kind of want to look up other ones. Thanks for the humor 🙂

    • Candice J.

      I think I would sleep much better at night not knowing the exact situations that made the law in Champaign come about but, just knowing its there. That can be one crazy town especially on days like “Unofficial”. I can only imagine.

      As far as names being mispronounced, it seems to be a common thing out here. Even my GPS mispronounces the city I live in as well as the streets I drive in. I wonder if you can fine an imaginary person’s voice. Either way if there was fine for every time somebody pronounced something incorrectly, hell there’d be a lot more wealthy people! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Rachel

    I’ve eaten in a restaurant where the fire alarm went off … but there was no fire. Does that count? 😉

    Fun post, Candice — I’ll have to watch out in Cicero especially, as I do like to hum on Sundays, and other days …

    • Candice J.

      Hmmm, now that’s a tricky question, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say hopefully not. And don’t worry, I have to watch out too. As I also enjoy to hum particularly on Sundays. Its like they have a law against EVERYTHING!!

  6. Amy Swanson

    Oh man, Candice these are too funny!! I had no idea they existed, but don’t worry I’ll make sure the next time I’m in Joliet I will pronounce it correctly 😉 Sheesh!!

  7. Eric

    So “Joy-let” (ala the bathroom fixture) is perfectly acceptable, still, eh? Ironic.

    Leave it to you to find the wacky laws, Candice. 🙂 Neat read!

  8. Kimberly

    Ok I do have a question here. My husband had a book called Strange Facts and stories about America’s past Reader’s Digest publisher. We ran up on one states “You can’t enter Urbana Illinois if you are a monster.” We searched high and low and we would like to know how that law got into the books. Can anyone give us insight on it? Thanks.

  9. Craig

    I live in Joliet and I HATE when people say it like that haha

  10. Millie cox

    I enjoyed reading this so much! Some laws are so funny! I was laughing so much. I moved to Elgin to a D.R. Horton community and was totally planning on Eating in a place on fire! lol

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