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More Crazy US Laws: South Dakota

Some of the silly laws in South Dakota do make marginal sense. That is, a person can imagine why the law was created. It is unclear what good the law will do, though, and it might be a little tricky to enforce the law, especially without breaking another law. Of course, some laws don’t make very much sense at all and some of them are obviously outdated, though they are still on the books.

Here are some of the silly laws in South Dakota:

* In South Dakota, horses are forbidden from going into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants. This law might make some sense if it wasn’t for the exception. One could wonder how many of the lawmakers had ever even tried to put a pair of pants on a horse. My guess would be probably few. If they’d tried it, they probably would have been too busy trying to figure out how to do it to have written the law.

* This one is a wee bit dated: In South Dakota, if a group of 5 or more American Indians comes onto your property, you can legally shoot them. The law in Spearfish, South Dakota is even harsher. If 3 or more Indians are walking down the street together, they are considered to be a “war party” and they can be shot. Seriously? A war party of three? I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be a very big war.

* In South Dakota, hotel rooms are required by law to have 2 twin beds and those beds must be at least two feet apart. Further, it is illegal for a couple to rent one of the rooms and to have intercourse in the 2-foot space between the beds. Not only is this a silly law, but it would also bring into question of how law enforcement would know that the couple was having sex, specifically between the beds?

* This one is downright shocking: In Huron, South Dakota, it is against the law to generate static electricity. This is especially ludicrous when you consider that clothed people create a tiny amount of static electricity every time they move. Of course, lightning is also static electricity and I doubt anyone has a good means figuring out how to arrest a thunderstorm. It could also be mentioned that if you put damp clothes in a clothes dryer and turn it on, you are creating static electricity.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to go to sleep in a cheese factory. I guess that they don’t want you to have a gouda night’s sleep.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to disturb a mink den.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to use your dog to hunt big game. That is understandable, but there is an exception. Dogs can be used to hunt cougars. Ignoring for a moment that cougars are not game, a dog has little chance against a cougar. This makes the law nonsensical.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to mix two different kinds of alcoholic beverages together without a permit. Since the law doesn’t specify the location, a person who is throwing a party and who has mixed drinks for the guests is violating the law unless they have a permit.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law for a casino to post a sign that says, “casino”. I wonder if “gambling establishment” would be legal on a sign?

* In South Dakota, hunters can’t use spotlights to hunt. However, they can use spotlights if they are hunting raccoons and are using the lights to keep track of where their dogs are.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to show any movies that show police officers being beaten, hit, or treated in an offensive manner. I can understand this one and support the general idea. However, this would mean that shows like Walker, Texas Ranger couldn’t be shown. For that matter, the Terminator movies couldn’t be shown, either.

* In South Dakota, it is against the law to use fireworks to protect your sunflower crop. Note that this prohibition is specific to sunflowers and doesn’t apply to protecting other crops.

Naturally, if you plan to visit or live in South Dakota, it would be a good idea to know what the laws are first. It is also worthwhile to understand that South Dakota also has some crazy, silly, and ludicrous laws, too.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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12 Comments

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    • To a point, I can understand the law, but only to a point. I mean, it isn’t against the law to show a movie where storms or aliens are destroying entire cities, but it is against the law for a movie to show someone who is disrespectful. That means that they couldn’t even show a movie of COPS episodes.

    • I’m still a little hung up on the two-foot margin between twin beds in hotels. I can understand the purpose, but I can’t quite grasp how they would catch the couples who were breaking the law.

      As for the horses, I’ve not known many that would stand idly by someone putting pants on them. At least now we know why they have bucking broncos in South Dakota.

          • When are you going on the road with your comedy routine? ROFL the image of a professional Horse Pantser made me laugh. Now, how do you expand your profession beyond South Dakota?

        • Well, it should be a stable occupation. Heck, there might even be a position as a college professor to teach the skill, maybe at Texas A&M or UC Berkeley. ‘Horse Pantsing 101’ They might tend to saddle the students with lots of range work, though. (It wouldn’t exactly be ‘homework’, so it would need to be range work.)

          • ROFL
            I am picturing a professor standing in front of a class. Now when pantsing a horse, there are three distinct things to do

            First, ask the horse for permission
            second to make sure you really need to put pants on the horse. If you are not currently in South Dakota, pants and horse do not need to meet.
            Third and perhaps most important, watch out for hooves!

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