The old saying “ignorance is bliss” might sound nice, until you have to pay a fine for breaking a law you never knew existed. As it turns out, Georgia has numerous bizarre regulations, and we bet you’ve violated a few.
Choose chicken cutlery carefully
Gainesville is the self-proclaimed poultry capital of the world, where chicken is considered a delicacy only to be eaten with one’s hands. Students at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus might notice their sloppy barbecue chicken tenders are accompanied by plenty of napkins, but most likely will not be served with a fork. In 1961, as a joke, officials actually created a short-term ordinance making it illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork.
Give a hoot, don’t hoot
In Athens, you could be fined if you whistle, hoot or produce other annoying vocalizations within 300 feet of a building between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.
Ordinance code: 3-5-24: Human-produced sounds. It is unlawful for any person or persons to yell, shout, hoot, whistle, or sing on the public streets or sidewalks or on private property so as to create, or cause to be created, any noises or sounds which are plainly audible at a distance of 300 feet or more from the place, building, structure, or in the case of real property, beyond the property limits, in which the person is located, whichever is farthest, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Alabama guns are OK, though
No Alabama slingshots in Athens. (Or any other slingshots.)
Ordinance code: 3-5-16: No person shall use for amusement or otherwise any Alabama slingshot or any slingshot or similar thing in the urban service district.
Don’t eff with the Georgia Lottery
If your lifelong goal is to advertise and sell scratch-off tickets, you may live in the wrong state. Georgia does not accept “this is how I get through college” as a legitimate reason for breaking this law.
Law code: 16-12-27: It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, broadcast, or disseminate any advertisement, or other written or printed matter containing an advertisement or solicitation for participation in any lottery declared to be unlawful by the laws of this state unless such advertisement, commercial, or solicitation contains or includes the words ‘void in Georgia’ printed or spoken so as to be clearly legible or audible to persons viewing or hearing such advertisement, commercial, or solicitation.
Cash always accepted
Sometimes it takes a little bribery to entice a nonbeliever to play a game of bingo. Just make sure to leave your pets out of it.
Law code: 4-1-9: No person shall give away any live animal, fish, reptile or bird as a prize for, or as an inducement to enter, any contest, game, or other competition, or as an inducement to enter a place of amusement, or offer such animal as an incentive to enter into any business agreement whereby the offer was for the purpose of attracting trade.
Waste your intellect between 3 and 11 p.m.
Most of us had the privilege to grow up with games like pinball and Pac-Man readily available. Ever have a late night at the arcade before the age of 16? Well, your younger self was a law breaker.
Sec. 3-8-3: Use of amusement machines by persons under the age of 16 years shall not be permitted during normal school hours on any day schools are in session. (b) No person under the age of 16 years shall be allowed to operate any amusement machine after the hour of 11:00 p.m.
Co-written with Garnett Glaser