10 Odd Wisconsin Laws

Wisconsin may be known for its cheese, beer, and friendly locals, but did you know that the state is also home to some of the wackiest laws in the country? That’s right, from bizarre driving regulations to eyebrow-raising civic ordinances, Wisconsin has no shortage of strangeness.

We’ve scoured the books and rounded up some of the most absurd and amusing laws that you may or may not have heard of before. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be entertained by the weird world of Wisconsin laws.

odd wisconsin laws

1. It is illegal to wake a sleeping bear for the sake of a picture. 

2. Wisconsin considers adultery a Class I Felony and imposes a punishment of $10,000 and three years of imprisonment.

3. No one may molest any muskrat house, muskrat feeding house, or beaver dam.

4. In Racine, it’s against the law to wake someone who is sleeping.

5. It is illegal to serve colored margarine in a restaurant unless the customer specifically requests it.

6. Cheese must be “highly pleasing” in Wisconsin per state statute.

7. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.

8. If money or goods over $3 is found, the finder is liable for the fine and more!

9. It is illegal for dogs to chase or bark at cats in the city of Ashland. If a dog is caught breaking this law, the owner could face fines or even jail time.

10. It is illegal to sound your vehicle’s horn “needlessly or unreasonably.”


Don't Wake the Sleeping Bear!

Did ya know that in Wisconsin, you can get in big trouble if you wake up a snoozin’ bear just to snap a photo? Yeah, it’s true!

Apparently, it’s against the law to disturb our furry friends just for your Instagram feed. So if you come across a bear who looks like it’s catching some serious Z’s, you better resist the urge to take a snapshot. Trust me, it’s just not worth the risk of getting in trouble with the law.


Strict Statutes for Straying Spouses?

According to Wisconsin state law, adultery is a serious crime, punishable by a hefty fine and even jail time.

So if you’re thinking about sneaking around with that special someone behind your spouse’s back, you might want to think again.

The legal system of Wisconsin will not take kindly to any straying spouses, and you’ll be looking at significant financial penalties and a lengthy stint behind bars. So if you can’t keep it in your pants, you better keep it in your own house! [1]


Don’t Disrupt the Dam Dang-it!

There’s a strange law on the books that prohibits people from molesting any muskrat houses, muskrat feeding houses, or beaver dams. That’s right, you read that correctly – it’s illegal to mess with these furry critters’ homes and food sources!

While we can’t help but wonder what kind of mischief someone would get up to with a muskrat feeding house, we’ve got to hand it to the lawmakers in Wisconsin for prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of these animals.

So, if you’re ever tempted to mess with a muskrat house or beaver dam, just remember – it’s not worth the legal trouble. Plus, who knows what kind of revenge these critters might take if you try to mess with their home sweet home! [2]


Need to Wake Your Friend, You Better Think Twice!

In Racine, it’s forbidden to rouse a person when they are deeply immersed in the land of nod. Whether it’s your noisy neighbor next door who’s snoring the night away, or your lazy buddy who’s sleeping through his alarm, the law states that you cannot intentionally wake them up.

So, if you’re craving some mischief or looking to play some pranks, you’d better think twice before you disturb the slumber of others in Racine. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a heap of trouble with the law!


No Colored Margarine!

Did you know that in Wisconsin, it’s 100% against the law to serve colored margarine in a restaurant unless the customer specifically asks for it?

That’s right, no more rainbow-colored margarine spreading all over your bread without your consent! We’re not sure why the government feels so strongly about this, but we’re guessing they just really, really like butter.

So, unless you’re a fan of dull, boring yellow butter, be sure to make it clear to your server that you want your margarine in all the colors of the rainbow!

Here’s another quirky thing about butter. According to Wisconsin law, only licensed butter graders are allowed to determine the quality of butter. That’s right, folks, only certified butter experts are allowed to judge the delicious dairy product. So, if you’re a resident of Wisconsin and you’re thinking about starting your own butter grading business, be sure to get that license first or risk the wrath of the butter police. [3]


Highly Pleasing Wisconsin Cheesing!

It’s no secret that Wisconsin is known for its dairy industry, and the state takes this reputation very seriously. In fact, per state statute, all cheese produced in Wisconsin must be “highly pleasing” to the senses.

What exactly this means is up for debate, but one thing is for sure: Wisconsin takes its cheese quality very seriously.

Cheese connoisseurs travel far and wide to experience Wisconsin’s vast selection of cheese, from sharp cheddar to it’s well-known cheese curds. Whether it’s melted on a sandwich or paired with a cracker, the delicious taste of Wisconsin cheese is something that locals and visitors alike can enjoy.

So the next time you’re in Wisconsin, make sure you indulge in some “highly pleasing” cheese, because it’s not just a state statute, it’s a way of life. [4]

cheese platter

Do Not Tie Your Alligator to the Fire Hydrant!

Who would have thought that tying an alligator to a fire hydrant is against the law in Wisconsin? Yes, you heard it right! Whoever tried to attempt such a bizarre thing in this state would have to face the consequences.

So, if you come across an alligator during your Wisconsin trip, please do not even think about securing it to a fire hydrant, or you might end up facing the law.

Remember to always follow the rules and regulations, folks, even if they sound funny and absurd!


Report or Repay!

In Wisconsin, if someone finds money or goods with a value of $3 or more and doesn’t report the find, they are in for a surprise.

For instance, if you find a diamond worth $3,000 and think you can sneak it home without telling anyone, think again.

You would have to pay $1,500 to the town and $1,500 to the owner of the diamond-and you are still responsible to return that diamond to it’s rightful owner.

So, if you find something valuable, make sure to report it and avoid a hefty fine!


Watch Your Dogs!

Oh my woof! You won’t paw-lieve what I just found out! In the city of Ashland, it’s against the law for dogs to chase or bark at cute little kitties!

If we bark at them or give them a good chase, our owners could end up with some serious cat scratch fever, like a huge fine or even a stint in the doghouse!

It may sound like a cat-astrophe, but this law helps protect the feline furballs and keeps them feeling pawsome and safe.

Next time we spot a feline friend, let’s just wag our tails and give them a friendly chin sniff instead of a good old-fashioned chase. Woof!

Watch Your Dogs!

Hold Off on Horn Honking!

Hey, did you know that one of the wackiest Wisconsin driving laws is about honking your car horn? Yeah, apparently it’s illegal to sound your vehicle’s horn “needlessly or unreasonably.”

So, forget about honking your horn by instinct when you see your friends walking on the street, or when that cute dog starts jumping around.

You better save that horn sound for the real emergencies, like when you need to alert other drivers about a car coming in the opposite direction, or your sister dropping her phone on the floor.

And remember, if you get caught honking your horn for no good reason, you might end up with a ticket for breaking this bizarre law.

While these laws may seem humorous, it is important to note that they are still technically on the books and can potentially lead to fines or other legal consequences if broken. It is important to follow all traffic and safety laws in Wisconsin to ensure the safety of everyone on the road and to avoid any legal problems.

It is estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 new laws go into effect every year in the United States. Rarely are those old laws removed from the books. Long after each legislative emergency has passed, the technology has changed, or society has simply moved on, and the laws tend to linger. [6]

Hey there, folks! Did you know that Wisconsin has some of the craziest driving laws in the country? But don’t let these silly laws distract you from the importance of staying safe while on the road! That’s why we’re calling on all drivers to drive smart and avoid unnecessary accidents.

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and that’s where Goldberg & Loren come in! They specialize in personal injury law and are here to help if you ever find yourself in need of legal assistance after a car accident.

So, let’s all do our part in following the driving laws in Wisconsin, but remember that accidents can happen to anyone. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, choose Goldberg & Loren for all your personal injury needs! After all, they’re the “wheel deal” when it comes to car accident cases!


[1] Wisconsin Legislature: 944.16. (n.d.). Wisconsin Legislature: 944.16. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/944/iii/16

[2] Wisconsin Legislature: NR 10.13(1)(b)15.c. (n.d.). Wisconsin Legislature: NR 10.13(1)(b)15.c. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/nr/001/10/i/13/1/b/15/c

[3] Zim, L. (n.d.). 3 Super Weird Wisconsin Laws You’ve Probably Never Heard Before. Q985. https://q985online.com/weird-wisconsin-laws/

[4] Wisconsin Legislature: ATCP 81.60(1). (n.d.). Wisconsin Legislature: ATCP 81.60(1). https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/atcp/055/81/vi/60/1

[5] Wisconsin Legislature: Chapter 170. (n.d.). Wisconsin Legislature: Chapter 170. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/170

[6] Dippel, B. (2021, October 27). History Uncovered: Weird Wisconsin laws. Sheboygan Sun. https://www.sheboygansun.com/history/history-uncovered-weird-wisconsin-laws/article_c2f57de8-3748-11ec-8348-3fa52dd9f562.html

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