Get to Know Detroit: The 5 Weirdest Laws that Make the Motor City a Unique Place to Live In

Close-up of a young alligator

Get to Know Detroit: The 5 Weirdest Laws that Make the Motor City a Unique Place to Live In

If you just moved to Motor City, here are some exciting things to see your home in a new light!

The City of Detroit has its fair share of strange and quirky laws that set it apart from the rest of Michigan—and the country! So many in fact, that we had to share them with you too.

From strict rules about where you leave your alligator to the freedom of your pig hinged on choice jewelry, these laws have turned the City of Detroit into a place with a unique character all its own.

Here are 5 of the weirdest laws still on the books today.

Weird Law #1: You can’t tie alligators to a fire hydrant.

Yup, it’s illegal to tie alligators to fire hydrants. So, why would someone tie their alligator there in the first place? Alligators love to live near water, and fire hydrants are everywhere in the city. However, they’re not there for wild animal owners to use as water bottles!

You can imagine how shocked the fireman would be when he reaches for the hose connection only to find a mouthful of sharpened teeth and a fully grown reptile happily lapping the drips. Yikes!

Weird Law #2: You can’t scowl at a woman.

It’s illegal for you to scowl at a woman in the City of Detroit. While ladies might raise an eyebrow and secretly enjoy the odd law, the fact is that this law is more about public decency than anything else.

The law was written in an era when many people still believed that a woman’s place was in the home and that it wasn’t proper for her to be alone in public. Scowling at her was seen as telling her that she didn’t belong and needed to get back inside.

What is considered a scowl? We’re not sure. But this law is still around for the time being.

Weird Law #3: You can’t be drunk on a train.

We’re sorry you can’t have the dream birthday party you’ve always wanted onboard a Detroit train—with cocktails, beers, and straight-up shots. And we’re not just talking about the conductor! Anybody who hops aboard can’t partake in an alcoholic beverage.

While this law ruins many weekend plans, its creation is due to a very serious reason.

In the 1800s, trains were the primary mode of transportation between cities, including the transportation of alcohol. Unfortunately, this led to many accidents as drunken carousers would stumble around the cars, fall off, and get seriously injured. To prevent this, the city decided to ban drinking on all trains.

Weird Law #4: You can’t “willfully destroy” your radio.

Accidentally tripping over your child’s Legos and falling on your radio is fine. But willfully destroying your radio is against the law. This odd rule occurred during World War II when the government was concerned about people ruining their radios to prevent them from hearing notifications about a family member being drafted into the war.

While there’s no longer a draft, the law is still technically on the books. So, if you’re feeling rebellious and want to destroy your radio, do it outside of city limits (and hide the pieces when you come back!).

Weird Law #5: Pigs can’t run free unless they have a nose ring.

Babe or not, your pig can’t roam free in the City of Detroit unless they have a nose ring. No, it’s not about aesthetics—although pigs with nose jewelry might look crazy cool!

Rather, the law was created before refrigeration, and nose rings were a way to keep track of the pigs that were brought into the city for slaughter. So, if you don’t want to risk your lovely pet getting pig-napped for dinner, put a ring on it!

Unique Living in a Unique City

If you’re looking for a unique city with plenty of opportunities, the City of Detroit is the place for you. With its rich history and diverse population, Michigan’s famous Motor City offers something for everyone. Just take note of where you tie up your alligator and have a drink…

Pack your bags and get ready to move into one of the most unique cities in the country!

Get in touch with our team to learn about the rental opportunities in the City of Detroit. We are a team of professional property managers that can help you find your dream home anywhere in Metro Detroit

3 thoughts on “Get to Know Detroit: The 5 Weirdest Laws that Make the Motor City a Unique Place to Live In

  1. It was really informative and also kind of humorous but also lacking some important things that makes these laws still intact but a good find thanks for the trip back in history

  2. Citations please.
    Did you know that it’s illegal to tie a blue whale to a fire hydrant? Well it is, it’s also illegal to tie a cat a dog a cow a horse etc etc. Do you think it’s more likely that they have a law for every animal or does the law just say animals? Somebody read the law and did a logical extrapolation and so did the legal to tie alligators to a fire hydrant just for sensationalism in their book and it was debunked a month after release.

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