Big Island Snorkling Tours Blog

Not Many People Realize That These 15 Things Are Actually Illegal In Hawaii

Kailua Kona coastline

Megan Shute for Only In Your State on things that are illegal in Hawaii.  Join us on the Hoku Nui for an unforgettable snorkel or manta ray tour.

While the beautiful Aloha State has several laws that were created with the utmost concern for public safety in mind, there are a few laws that are so obscure that not many people seem to know about them – even police officers. From outlawing activities that should be simple common sense to avoid, to laws that are clearly never enforced, these 15 laws showcase the illegal things in Hawaii that will leave you scratching your head, wondering how exactly they came to be enacted. We’re not sure, but they are definitely fun to read about!

1. In Honolulu, it is illegal to annoy birds while in the limits of any public park.

I would like to know what constitutes annoying birds. It’s an interesting law that makes you wonder where it originated from.

2. It is illegal to have more than one alcoholic beverage in front of you at any given time.

No double-fisting for you! Or even ordering a second drink when your first is almost gone… Just a weird law in Hawaii that you have to abide by.

3. At one point in time, it was illegal to leave home without knowing your destination.

Maybe because aimless driving leads to more accidents? This strange law in Hawaii has us scratching our heads.

4. As of 2014, it became illegal for police officers to have sex with prostitutes during an investigation.

Shouldn’t that have always been against the law? While perhaps not always a law, it should at least have been a pretty solid ethical decision.

5. It is illegal to place coins in your ears.

So much for that classic magic trick where you pull coins out of another person’s ear… a weird law in Hawaii for sure. We’re wondering where this one came from.

6. While we’re talking about ears, it is also illegal to have a tattoo behind your ear.

Unless in the presence of a registered physician, of course. Perhaps there has been some accidents?

7. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or use tobacco products of any kind.

I guess that’s one way to get young adults to stop smoking cold turkey. Not a weird law, but one of the new illegal things in Hawaii.

8. Breaking off mineral deposits and speleothems from a cave is unlawful.

Because we believe in preserving Hawaii’s natural beauty. There are a couple of illegal things in Hawaii that have to do with beaches and water, so make sure to read up!

9. This may be a no-brainer, but feeding sharks is illegal.

Speaking of sharks, anyone in possession of the fin of a shark can be imprisoned for up to one year. Not a strange law in Hawaii, more of a protective law that we can get behind.

10. In the ancient Hawaiian Orakama tribe, it was illegal for a man to eat his second wife.

But eating your first wife is not only legal – it’s encouraged? And how many times did this happen before it became illegal?

11. It is illegal to use imitation milk in a milkshake without warning.

I wonder how much milk producers paid to enact that law. One of the more random illegal things in Hawaii.

12. Killing a seeing eye dog is against the law.

Shouldn’t it be illegal to kill any dog, anywhere? We’re glad this illegal thing in Hawaii has made it to the books, though.

13. It is unlawful for a shooting gallery to offer liquor as a prize.

14. It is against the law to display captive dolphins and whales.
I’m not quite sure how Sea Life Park got around that one… we’d love to learn more about this strange law in Hawaii.
15. Apparently, it is illegal to appear in public wearing only swimming trunks.
If this is an actual law, it is definitely not enforced. We’re wondering where this law came into practice, and if it’s ever enforced today?


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