Here are some ridiculous RI laws

Whatta badass bish

Casual law-breaking on Thayer; photographed holding just-purchased illegal substances.

College students are used to breaking the law (we’re not going to go into specifics here, but we’re sure you get the idea). However, there are some laws that make you wonder what had to go so wrong to create the need for a law against it. I decided to live on the edge and test the limits of the Providence Police (ProPo, as opposed to BroPo) by breaking some ridiculous Rhode Island laws.

You may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday in Providence.

I can’t even imagine where this law came from. Maybe churchgoers love morning breath? Or eating toothpaste while massaging your face with a toothbrush is a secret Sunday hangover cure? Anyway, I went to CVS last Sunday to once again do some badass law-breaking. I carefully selected a tube of Crest toothpaste and an Oral-B toothbrush and brought them to the register; I wasn’t trying to sneak around the law by using an Express Check-Out station. To my surprise, the cashier sold me the toothpaste and toothbrush together on a Sunday! But he conspicuously did not give me a receipt, so I’m assuming this was part of an elaborate cover-up effort. Although I was able to get CVS to break this law, I’m sure it’s super serious, so don’t come running to me if someone gets arrested—you’ve been warned.

It is illegal to wear transparent clothing in Providence.

I’m guessing that this law resulted from some Hangover-inspired night gone wrong. I wanted to see how seriously this law is taken, so I walked down Thayer in a transparent top. Although I got some weird looks, possibly resulting from the fact that it was 30° and my shirt was completely see-through, no one tried to make a citizen’s arrest (unfortunately I couldn’t find any police to break the law in front of). So for all of you who are guilty of this every weekend, don’t worry: the BroPo has better things to bust you for. Note that Rhode Island has no specific statute against Indecent Exposure, so if you’re planning on wearing a transparent shirt, just do the legal thing and go topless instead.

It is illegal to challenge someone to a duel, or accept a duel, even if it is never actually fought.

I officially challenge you, BlogDailyHerald reader, to a duel. Choose your weapon: swords, wands, chicken fingers, you name it. Keep it on the DL though, because if the police find out, we could both be imprisoned for up to seven years. Also, I’m pretty sure that more than a few Brown students already deserve jail time under this law—sorry, fencing team and beer pong players.

One who bites off another’s limb faces twenty years in jail, but only if it was intentional.

As much as I want to know what would happen if I unintentionally bit off someone’s limb, I think this might hurt my journalistic integrity. If anyone accidentally does this and finds out the result, please email us at

All of these laws are actually on the books, so I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time before the ProPo come after me. I hope you are now more informed Rhode Island citizens and follow the law—or at least feel like a rebel when you break one of these. And if you think these laws are ridiculous, just thank God (a.k.a. Mayor Buddy Cianci) that we don’t live in Newport, where it’s illegal to smoke a pipe after sunset.

Leave a Reply