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Top 10 strange laws in Chicago

Illinois permits culinary arts students to drink liquor even if they're under 21.
Illinois permits culinary arts students to drink liquor even if they're under 21.
Photo by Neilson Barnard

While people continue to scratch their heads over why it's legal to smoke and vote before one can drink alcohol or rent a car, other laws make sense. But some laws are so bizarre or escape the radar that not many may even known about them. Here are 10 laws that raised eyebrows for Chicagoans.

  1. While it may be illegal for people under 21 to drink, students participating in a culinary arts, food service or a valid restaurant degree program may taste liquor for instructional purposes. The maximum number of tastes are six times per class in a class setting on campus, but the liquor must be under the control of the instructor. (Source: Illinois General Assembly)
  2. Do not kiss pet reptiles or bathe them in areas where home owners wash dishes. (Source: Chicago Herp)
  3. Music loud enough to be heard 75 feet away can be cause for a $700 or more ticket. (Source: First-person interview with Chicago Police Dept.)
  4. Egging someone's car doesn't automatically lead to a ticket if the egg damage can be washed off. (Source: First-person interview with Chicago Police Dept.)
  5. Unlike meal deals, 2-for-1 Happy Hour drinks are strictly prohibited. This also includes liquor as prizes for a contest. (Source: State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission)
  6. Multiple dwellings (housing location with five or more independent units that can be rented, leased, let or hired) must have peepholes for the inside of the entrance door, courtesy of the Peephole Installation Act. (Source: FindLaw for Legal Professionals)
  7. The Peephole Installation Act (mentioned above) does not apply to hotels, apartment hotels, motels, dormitories, hospitals, convents or public institutions. (Source: FindLaw for Legal Professionals)
  8. Pronouncing the city of Joliet as Jolly-et instead of Jo-lee-et is $5 fine but only if caught doing it in Joliet, Ill. (Source: Illinois)
  9. Police are not required to contact parents or obtain guardians before approaching and questioning a child, but children are free to ask to speak to a lawyer. (Source: NOLO)
  10. People who willfully or maliciously make statements or spread rumors (in print or by word of mouth) about a financial institution that would affect the financial standing of a bank can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, according to the Derogatory Statements About Banks Act. (Source: Illinois General Assembly)

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Dumb Laws in Illinois

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