Weird Washington Laws You Might Not Know You're Breaking

We’ve all heard of strange, archaic laws that languish on the books. Some are more bizarre than others, such as the oath in Kentucky that keeps public officers, legislators and lawyers from participating in duels with deadly weapons. When the oath was created in 1849, it was reflective of a very different style of campaigning than we have grown accustomed to since. It was a long-standing Southern tradition for public office campaigns to conduct deadly duels. While it most likely doesn’t come up in many situations nowadays, it’s vestige of a very different era in the state’s history. Every state has their own unique examples, and Washington is not exempt.


Scrolling down to Washington on a site devoted to dumb laws shows several bizarre laws. However, many of them are just plain rumors, such as “All Lollipops are Banned” in the State of Washington. Don’t worry, you can purchase and consume lollipops to your heart’s content without fear of arrest or sanction.

Here are some funny ones that you could be held accountable for in Washington, so beware:

Don’t use an X-ray at a shoe store. It is against this law: RCW 70.98.170

The operation or maintenance of any X-ray, fluoroscopic, or other equipment or apparatus employing roentgen rays, in the fitting of shoes or other footwear or in the viewing of bones in the feet is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to any licensed physician, surgeon, *podiatrist, or any person practicing a licensed healing art, or any technician working under the direct and immediate supervision of such persons.

A simple Brannock device will have to do (and I bet you didn’t know that thing that measures your foot had a name!) 

For those who want to play hooky (especially after a vacation day) you really SHOULD stay home if you are sick. Otherwise, you’re breaking this law: RCW 70.54.050 

Every person who shall willfully expose himself or herself to another, or any animal affected with any contagious or infectious disease, in any public place or thoroughfare, except upon his or her or its necessary removal in a manner not dangerous to the public health; and every person so affected who shall expose any other person thereto without his or her knowledge, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Last but not least, if you happen to be in Skamania County and encounter a Bigfoot, you may  not harass the animal, considered to be an endangered species.

Bill Coats Law is a personal injury firm in downtown Bellingham working with accident victims in car crashes in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, and beyond. If you have been hit by a careless or negligent driver, don't hesitate to give Bill a call.

About the Author